1984 NBA Draft: The Art Of Drafting Hall Of Famers

Feature Image of Michael Jordan with basketball in front of a 1984 NBA Draft banner

The 1984 NBA draft was the 38th in league history since its founding during the inaugural 1946-1947 season. The Houston Rockets were awarded the first overall pick for the 2nd consecutive year after posting a 29-53 record, the worst in the Western Conference. It was the final draft to utilize the coin flip method for determining the 1st overall pick, as the NBA would adopt the lottery system the following season.

1984 NBA Draft

The 1984 NBA draft was the best in league history, producing an impressive cast of superstar players that would dominate the league for the next decade and a half. It contained 7 players who made at least 1 all-star team, 6 players who made at least 1 All-NBA Team, and 5 players who were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The 1984 NBA draft class amassed a staggering 53 all-star teams, 23 All-NBA 1st Team selections, and 7 regular-season MVPs.

Who was the First Pick in the 1984 NBA Draft?

Hakeem Olajuwon was the 1st pick of the 1984 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets after he had enjoyed a decorated collegiate career at the University of Houston. Olajuwon had helped lead the Cougars to 3 consecutive trips to the Final Four, and back-to-back title game appearances. He was named the 1983 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was a 1st Team All-American during the 1983-1984 season.

1984 NBA Draft Picks


  1. Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets)
  2. Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers)
  3. Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls)
  4. Sam Perkins (Dallas Mavericks)
  5. Charles Barkley (Philadelphia 76ers)
  6. Melvin Turpin (Washington Bullets)
  7. Alvin Robertson (San Antonio Spurs)
  8. Lancaster Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers)
  9. Otis Thorpe (Kansas City Kings)
  10. Leon Wood (Philadelphia 76ers)
  11. Kevin Willis (Atlanta Hawks)
  12. Tim McCormick (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  13. Jay Humphries (Phoenix Suns)
  14. Michael Cage (Los Angeles Clippers)
  15. Terence Stansbury (Dallas Mavericks)
  16. John Stockton (Utah Jazz)
  17. Jeff Turner (New Jersey Nets)
  18. Vern Fleming (Indiana Pacers)
  19. Bernard Thompson (Portland Trail Blazers)
  20. Tony Campbell (Detroit Pistons)
  21. Kenny Fields (Milwaukee Bucks)
  22. Tom Sewell (Philadelphia 76ers)
  23. Earl Jones (Los Angeles Lakers)
  24. Michael Young (Boston Celtics)


  1. Devin Durrant (Indiana Pacers)
  2. Victor Fleming (Portland Trail Blazers)
  3. Ron Anderson (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  4. Cory Blackwell (Seattle SuperSonics)
  5. Stuart Gray (Indiana Pacers)
  6. Steve Burtt (Golden State Warriors)
  7. Jay Murphy (Golden State Warriors)
  8. Eric Turner (Detroit Pistons)
  9. Steve Colter (Portland Trail Blazers)
  10. Tony Costner (Washington Bullets)
  11. Othell Wilson (Golden State Warriors)
  12. Charles Jones (Phoenix Suns)
  13. Ben Coleman (Chicago Bulls)
  14. Charlie Sitton (Dallas Mavericks)
  15. Danny Young (Seattle SuperSonics)
  16. Anthony Teachey (Dallas Mavericks)
  17. Tom Sluby (Dallas Mavericks)
  18. Willie White (Denver Nuggets)
  19. Greg Wiltjer (Chicago Bulls)
  20. Fred Reynolds (Washington Bullets)
  21. Gary Plummer (Golden State Warriors)
  22. Jerome Kersey (Portland Trail Blazers)
  23. Ronnie Williams (Boston Celtics)


  1. James Banks (PHI)
  2. Tim Dillon (CHI)
  3. Ben McDonald (CLE)
  4. Jim Petersen (HOU)
  5. Terry Williams (SEA)
  6. Ricky Ross (WSB)
  7. Roosevelt Chapman (KCK)
  8. Lewis Jackson (GSW)
  9. Jeff Allen (KCK)
  10. Joe Binion (SAS)
  11. Bobby Parks (ATL)
  12. Murray Jarman (PHO)
  13. Leonard Mitchell (CLE)
  14. Jeff Cross (DAL)
  15. David Pope (UTA)
  16. Yommy Sangodeyi (NJN)
  17. Curtis Green (NYK)
  18. Tim Kearney (POR)
  19. Kevin Springman (DET)
  20. Vernon Delancy (MIL)
  21. Butch Graves (PHI)
  22. George Singleton (LA)
  23. Rick Carlisle (BOS)


  1. Ralph Jackson (IND)
  2. Melvin Johnson (CHI)
  3. Art Aaron (CLE)
  4. Willie Jackson (HOU)
  5. Marc Glass (LAC)
  6. Jim Grandholm (WSB)
  7. Mark Halsel (CHI)
  8. John Devereaux (SAS)
  9. Karl Tilleman (DEN)
  10. Carl Henry (KCK)
  11. Dicky Beal (ATL)
  12. Jeff Collins (PHO)
  13. Jeff Jenkins (SEA)
  14. John Horrocks (DAL)
  15. Hank Cornley (NJN)
  16. Jim Rowinski (UTA)
  17. Bob Thornton (NYK)
  18. Brett Applegate (POR)
  19. Phillip Smith (DET)
  20. Ozell Jones (SAS)
  21. Earl Harrison (PHI)
  22. John Revelli (LA)
  23. Kevin Mullin (BOS)


  1. Gene Smith (IND)
  2. Lamont Robinson (CHI)
  3. Vince Hinchen (CLE)
  4. Al McClain (HOU)
  5. Alonza Allen (LAC)
  6. Colin Irish (WSB)
  7. Eric Richardson (SAS)
  8. Steve Bartek (GSW)
  9. Jim Foster (KCK)
  10. Prince Bridges (DEN)
  11. Terry Martin (ATL)
  12. Bill Flye (PHO)
  13. Eli Pasquale (SEA)
  14. Dave Williams (DAL)
  15. Marcus Gaither (UTA)
  16. Michael Gerren (NJN)
  17. Scott McCollum (GSW)
  18. Mike Whitmarsh (POR)
  19. Rick Doyle (DET)
  20. Ernie Floyd (MIL)
  21. Dan Federman (PHI)
  22. Lance Berwald (LA)
  23. Todd Orlando (BOS)


  1. Clyde Vaughan (IND)
  2. Jeff Tipton (CHI)
  3. Matt Doherty (CLE)
  4. McKinley Singleton (MIL)
  5. Phillip Haynes (LAC)
  6. Blaise Bugajski (WSB)
  7. Tony Martin (GSW)
  8. Dion Brown (SAS)
  9. Willie Burton (DEN)
  10. Bruce Vanley (KCK)
  11. Jim Master (ATL)
  12. Herman Veal (PHO)
  13. Graylin Warner (SEA)
  14. LaVerne Evans (DAL)
  15. Oscar Schmidt (NJN)
  16. Chris Harrison (UTA)
  17. Eddie Lee Wilkins (NYK)
  18. Lance Ball (POR)
  19. Rennie Bailey (DET)
  20. Mike Reddick (MIL)
  21. Gary Springer (PHI)
  22. Keith Jones (LA)
  23. Steve Carfino (BOS)


  1. Kenton Edelin (IND)
  2. Butch Hays (CHI)
  3. Joe Jakubick (CLE)
  4. Joedy Gardner (HOU)
  5. David Brantley (LAC)
  6. Tim Garrett (WSB)
  7. Michael Pitts (SAS)
  8. Cliff Higgins (GSW)
  9. Chipper Harris (KCK)
  10. Mark Simpson (DEN)
  11. Vince Martello (ATL)
  12. Raymond Crenshaw (PHO)
  13. Gary Gatewood (SEA)
  14. George Turner (DAL)
  15. Bob Evans (UTA)
  16. Sean Kerins (NJN)
  17. Ken Bannister (NYK)
  18. Victor Anger (POR)
  19. Barry Francisco (DET)
  20. Tony William (MIL)
  21. Rich Congo (PHI)
  22. Richard Haenisch (LA)
  23. Mark Van Valkenburg (BOS)


  1. Tom Heitz (IND)
  2. Brett Crawford (CHI)
  3. Elliot Beard (CLE)
  4. Greg Wolff (HOU)
  5. Jim McLoughlin (LAC)
  6. Darryl Odom (WSB)
  7. Paul Brozovich (GSW)
  8. Dan Tarkanian (SAS)
  9. Bill Wendlandt (DEN)
  10. Nate Rollins (KCK)
  11. Robert Brown (ATL)
  12. Mark Fothergill (PHO)
  13. Jerry McMillan (SEA)
  14. Leroy Sutton (DAL)
  15. Chris Winans (NJN)
  16. Eric Booker (UTA)
  17. Ricky Tunstall (NYK)
  18. Steve Flint (POR)
  19. Dale Roberts (DET)
  20. Brad Jergenson (MIL)
  21. Frank Dobbs (PHI)
  22. Champ Godbolt (BOS)


  1. Brian Martin (IND)
  2. Calvin Pierce (CHI)
  3. John Shimko (CLE)
  4. Bill Coon (HOU)
  5. Dave Schultz (LAC)
  6. Mike Emanuel (WSB)
  7. Melvin Roseboro (SAS)
  8. Mitch Arnold (GSW)
  9. Greg Turner (KCK)
  10. Cecil Exum (DEN)
  11. Fred Brown (ATL)
  12. Buddy Cox (PHO)
  13. Mike Williams (SEA)
  14. John Tudor (DAL)
  15. Kelly Knight (UTA)
  16. Bill Ryan (NJN)
  17. Marc Marotta (NYK)
  18. Dennis Black (POR)
  19. Ben Tower (DET)
  20. Edwin Green (MIL)
  21. Michael Mitchell (PHI)
  22. Joe Dickson (BOS)


  1. Gary Carver (IND)
  2. Carl Lewis (CHI)
  3. Darrell Space (CLE)
  4. Robert Turner (HOU)
  5. Dick Mumma (LAC)
  6. Glynn Myrick (WSB)
  7. Tim Bell (GSW)
  8. Frank Rodriguez (SAS)
  9. Dexter Bailey (DEN)
  10. Victor Coleman (KCK)
  11. Doug Mills (ATL)
  12. Ezra Hill (PHO)
  13. Greg Brandon (SEA)
  14. Napoleon Johnson (DAL)
  15. Phil Jamison (NJN)
  16. Mike Curran (UTA)
  17. Mike Henderson (NYK)
  18. Randy Dunn (POR)
  19. Dan Pelekoudas (DET)
  20. Mike Toomer (MIL)
  21. Martin Clark (PHI)
  22. Dan Trant (BOS)


Five Hall of Famers were in the 1984 NBA Draft. Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and Oscar Schmidt are the legends to come out of the 84 class. Surprisingly, one of them never played a single game in the NBA!

Michael Jordan

After being selected with the 3rd overall pick by the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan immediately developed into one of the best players in the NBA, starring at the shooting guard position. He helped transform the Bulls from a struggling franchise that had missed the playoffs the previous 3 seasons, into a rising playoff power.

Under Jordan’s leadership, the Bulls would eventually win 6 titles during the 90s, establishing themselves as one of the premier NBA dynasties. Jordan averaged 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, and 2.3 SPG for his career, all while shooting 49.7% from the field and 83.5% from the free-throw line.

Jordan won 5 NBA Regular Season MVPs, 6 NBA Finals MVPs, the 1987-1988 Defensive Player of the Year, and was a 14-time NBA All-Star. He was named to the All-NBA 1st Team 10 times and the All-Defensive 1st Team 9 times, while also being named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history during the 1996-1997 season and a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon was the 1984 NBA draft 1st pick and would become the best center of his generation. Starring alongside fellow big man Ralph Sampson, the #1 pick of the 1983 draft, Olajuwon would help to quickly turn the Rockets into a perennial playoff team, reaching the 1986 NBA finals.

After Sampson’s career flamed out, Olajuwon became the centerpiece of the Rockets franchise. The Rockets would develop into an elite team under Olajuwon’s leadership and would win back-to-back NBA titles during the 1993-1994 and 1994-1995 seasons.

Olajuwon averaged 21.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 3.1 BPG, and 1.7 SPG for his career, and shot 51.2% from the field. He won an NBA Regular Season MVP and 2 NBA Finals MVPs, was named the Defensive Player of the Year twice, was named to the All-NBA 1st Team 6 times, was named to the All-Defensive 1st Team 5 times, and was a 12-time all-star.

Olajuwon was also named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history and a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

Charles Barkley

Although he didn’t have the storied collegiate careers of other members of the NBA draft class of 1984, Charles Barkley was nonetheless a highly regarded prospect with huge amounts of talent. After being taken with the 5th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, Barkley proved himself to be an incredibly versatile power forward, quickly developing into one of the most exciting players in the NBA.

Barkley averaged 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, and 1.5 SPG, all while shooting an incredible 54.1% from the field. He won an NBA Regular Season MVP, was named to the All-NBA 1st Team 5 times, and was named to 11 all-star teams.

Barkley was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history and a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

John Stockton

An unheralded prospected out of Gonzaga, John Stockton was taken with the 16th pick in the draft by the Utah Jazz. After playing primarily as a backup his first 3 seasons, Stockton became a starter and enjoyed an impressive career as one of the best point guards in NBA history.

In 19 seasons in the NBA, he amassed 15,806 assists and 3,265 steals, the most ever in NBA history. He starred alongside Karl Malone, leading the Jazz to multiple playoff appearances and back-to-back NBA Finals appearances during the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 seasons.

Stockton averaged 13.1 PPG, 10.5 APG, and 2.2 SPG, and also shot 51.5% from the field and 82.6% from the free-throw line. He was named to the All-NBA First Team twice, was named to the All-NBA 2nd Team 6 times, was named to the All-Defensive 2nd Team 5 times, and was named to 10 all-star games.

Stockton was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history and a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Oscar Schmidt

Oscar Schmidt was one of the best international basketball players of all time, playing professionally in Brazil, his home country, and Europe for 3 decades. He is considered the all-time leading scorer in the history of professional basketball, amassing a stunning 49,737 points in his professional and Brazilian national career.

Although he was drafted with the 131st pick in the 6th round of the 1984 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets, he opted to continue playing professionally with his club team in Italy, where he had a much more lucrative contract.

Who was the Best Player of the 1984 NBA Draft?

Michael Jordan was by far the best player among the 1984 NBA draft picks, elevating himself above an already legendary draft class. He was an elite offensive and defensive player and possessed an incredible work ethic and an insatiable desire to win.

Jordan was one of the few players in NBA history to improve as the pressure and stakes of a particular game became higher, saving some of his most legendary performances during the postseason and NBA Finals. Jordan put up incredible offensive statistics during an era where hand-checking and physical, often abusive play was the norm.

Jordan’s perfect 6-0 record in the NBA Finals and 6 NBA Finals MVPs are the gold standard of the modern NBA and enhance his nearly limitless legacy.

Did Michael Jordan win Rookie of the Year?

Michael Jordan proved to be the premier prospect of the 1984 NBA draft lottery, winning the 1984-1985 Rookie of the Year with an outstanding all-around season for the Chicago Bulls. He played in all 82 regular-season games and led the NBA in total points scored. He averaged 28.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.9 APG, and 2.4 SPG, all while shooting an impressive 51.5% from the field and 84.5% from the free-throw line.

Who was Drafted before Michael Jordan?

In one of the most infamous draft decisions in NBA history, the Portland Trail Blazers opted to pick center Sam Bowie with their #2 selection, instead of Michael Jordan. The Trail Blazers had drafted Clyde Drexler the year before, who played the same shooting guard position as Jordan, and were looking for a big man to round out their roster.

However, Bowie would spend most of his 11-season NBA career struggling with injuries, averaging 10.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 1.8 BPG, very underwhelming considering his #2 draft position.

The Sam Bowie pick remains one of the biggest “what if” scenarios in NBA history, as Portland could very well have positioned their franchise to become one of the most dominant in the league by pairing Jordan with Drexler. Many other players in the 1984 NBA draft list besides Jordan would have also been great additions to Portland, such as Charles Barkley or John Stockton.

The Best Non-Hall-of-Fame Players from the 1984 NBA Draft

Alvin Robertson

While the 1984 NBA draft order had many glaring oversights, Alvin Robertson ended up having a career requisite to his #7 overall selection by the San Antonio Spurs. Robertson established himself as a very good NBA point guard, excelling on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, with career averages of 14 PPG, 5 APG, and an NBA-record 2.7 SPG.

Robertson was the 1985-1986 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the All-NBA 2nd Team once, was named to the All-Defensive 1st team twice, and was named to 4 all-star teams.

Otis Thorpe

Otis Thorpe was drafted 9th overall by the Kansas City Kings and enjoyed a very successful career at the power forward position. He averaged 14 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and shot an incredible 54.6% from the field. He was named to 1 all-star team and was a member of the 1993-1994 Houston Rockets championship team.

Kevin Willis

Kevin Willis was taken with the #11 pick by the Atlanta Hawks and overachieved his draft status by having a very long, successful NBA career at the center position. He averaged 12.1 PPG and 8.4 RPG for his career and was named to 1 all-star game. He is 1 of 15 players in NBA history with at least 16,000 points and 11,000 rebounds.

Rick Carlisle

Although he is best known for his successful NBA coaching career, which culminated with a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, Rick Carlisle spent 6 seasons in the NBA as a player. He was originally drafted 70th overall in the 3rd round by the Boston Celtics and was a member of the Celtics’ 1986 championship team. He averaged just 2.2 PPG over his career, playing only about 8 minutes a game.

The Best Draft Class Of All Time

The 1984 NBA draft results ended up producing a legendary caste of hall of fame players along with several other successful NBA players who would make major contributions to the league over the next 2 decades.

The 1984 NBA draft coin flip gave the Houston Rockets the #1 pick, and although hindsight would point to the wisdom of selecting Michael Jordan, it is hard to disparage the pick of Hakeem Olajuwon, who would also develop into a superstar. The 1984 NBA draft hall of famers as a whole were in a league of their own, as no future draft has ever collectively produced four players on par with Jordan, Olajuwon, Barkley, and Stockton.