1984 NBA Draft – The 6 Best

1984 NBA Draft
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The 1984 NBA Draft will be remembered as one of the great Draft’s of all-time because it produced some fantastic players and arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time.

It also generates a bit of discussion for what could have been for some sides particularly the Portland Trail Blazers who had pick number two and chose to overlook a player that most purist basketball fans would regard as the Greatest of all-time in Michael Jordan.

NBA Draft History would suggest that some teams don’t quite make the right picks during the NBA Draft Lottery and the 1984 Draft Class would suggest that some of the players in the top 10, didn’t end up going as well as expected.

The 1984 NBA Draft list consisted of same great players, although the 1984 NBA Draft Order is now always up for debate.

Here are the 1984 NBA Draft Picks.

1984 NBA Draft Results

Top 10 Picks

1.) Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets) from Houston

2.) Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers) from Kentucky

3.) Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls) from North Carolina

4.) Sam Perkins (Dallas Mavericks) from North Carolina

5.) Charles Barkley (Philadelphia 76ers) from Auburn

6.) Melvin Turpin (Washington Bullets) from Kentucky

7.) Alvin Robertson (San Antonio Spurs) from Arkansas

8.) Lancaster Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers) from Louisville

9.) Otis Thorpe (Kansas City Kings) from Providence

10.) Leon Wood (Philadelphia 76ers) from Cal State Fullerton

As a basketball fan, 3 of the players in the Top 10 are household names and ended up having a significant impact on the NBA.

3 or 4 of the players in the top ten of the 1984 NBA Draft had semi-decent careers and played for extended periods. Whilst there are a few guys in the top ten, that as a basketball fan it’s quite hard to remember whether or not they made an impact on the NBA unless some research is undertaken.


The most memorable is the Portland Trail Blazers pick of Sam Bowie who was picked before Michael Jordan and Blazers fans constantly get reminded of what they missed out on. Bowie did make a small contribution to the NBA, but in no way lived up to being the Number 2 pick despite a really good college career.

Just who has been the best to come out of the 1984 NBA Draft?

Before we get into a top six some honourable mentions that had well established careers in the NBA include, Alvin Robertson, Otis Thorpe, Michael Cage, Jerome Kersey and Sam Bowie did have an impact in the NBA, but it often gets forgotton because he was chosen before Jordan.

Here is a quick recap of the best 6 players to come out of the 1984 NBA Draft – The 6 Best.

The 6 Best

6.) Sam Perkins

(Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle Supersonics, Indiana Pacers)

Original Pick – Round 1 Pick 4 (Dallas Mavericks) from North Carolina

Playing Career – (1984-2001)

Games – 1286

Playoffs – 167

Points Average – 11.9

Rebounds Average – 6.0

After a decent college career and numerous awards before entering the NBA, Perkins ended up having a long NBA Career at four different clubs.

Nicknamed, Big Smooth or Sleepy Sam, he made an impact on each of the sides he played for and played significant minutes during the early to middle stages of his career.

 A big man that shot the 3 point shot at 36.2% throughout his career, he was a factor in the 1996 NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls in which he made the Bulls defenders respect his outside shot.

Over 100 games and one of the most unique jump shots of All-Time, Perkins gave all four of the sides he played for, significant value.

5.) Kevin Willis

(Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks)

Original Pick – Round 1 Pick 11 (Atlanta Hawks) from Michigan State

Playing Career – (1984-2007)

Games – 1424

Playoffs – 98

Points Average – 12.1

Rebounds Average – 8.4

NBA Championship – (2003)

NBA All-Star – (1992)

Kevin Willis had a long career and ranks 9th on the list for most NBA Games played. 

He played for several different NBA Teams and was a regular contributor on most of the sides he played for.

His longest stint for a club was his first team, the Atlanta Hawks where he got a start in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game. The long jeopardy of his career probably gets him in the top 5, but Willis was a true character of the game and one of the better centres of his time.

4.) John Stockton

(Utah Jazz)

Original Pick – Round 1 Pick 16 (Utah Jazz) from Gonzaga

Playing Career – (1984-2003)

Games – 1504

Playoffs – 182

Points Average – 13.1

Assists Average – 10.5

Steals Average – 2.2

10 x NBA All-Star

2 x All NBA First Team

9 x NBA Assist Leader

After a healthy College career for Gonzaga, Stockton was picked up by the Utah Jazz in the 1984 NBA Draft and played there for almost 20 seasons.

He formed a memorable partnership with teammate Karl Malone to turn the Utah Jazz into one of the powerhouses of the Western Conference.

John Stockton was one of the greatest passes the game has ever seen and led by example in a long career for just the one team. He played a significant part in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls, but unfortunately Jordan and the Bulls were just too good and the Utah Jazz never won a title during Stockton’s long NBA Career.

Originally the 16th pick in the 1984 NBA Draft John Stockton would go on to become one of the Great Point Guards the game has ever seen and the John Stockton Jersey is still popular for NBA Fans.

3.) Charles Barkley

1984 NBA Draft

(Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets)

Original Pick – Round 1 Pick 5 (Philadelphia 76ers) from Auburn

Playing Career – (1984-2000)

Games – 1073

Playoffs – 123

Points Average – 22.1

Rebounds Average –11.7

NBA MVP – (1993)

11 X NBA All-Star

5 x All-NBA First Team

His main impact was for the Pheonix Suns, Charles Barkley had an impact on the NBA and he gave any side he was on a decent chance at winning an NBA title. He may never have won a title, but came close a couple of times and is well regarded as one of the NBA Greats.

The aggressive style of Charles Barkley would intimidate the opposition and he could score at will, and his defence was elite.

The outspoken Barkley was an 11 Time NBA All-Star and a member of the All NBA First Team on 5 occasions. One of the true greats of the NBA and the Charles Barkely Jersey was one of the most popular throughout the 90s.

2.) Hakeem Olajuwon

1984 NBA Draft

(Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors)

Original Pick – Round 1 Pick 1 (Houston Rockets) from Houston

Playing Career – (1984 -2002)

Games – 1238

Playoffs – 145

Points Average – 21.8

Rebounds Average – 11.1

Blocks Average – 3.1

2 x NBA Champion

2 x NBA Finals MVP

NBA MVP Award – 1994

12 x NBA All-Star

6 x All-NBA First Team

2 x Defensive Player of the Year

Originally from Nigeria, Hakeem Olajuwon provided the Houston Rockets with a lot of value throughout his decorated career.

One of the best post-up big men in NBA History, Olajuwon was difficult to defend and was just as good a defender.

He is a two time NBA Champion, 12 Time NBA All-Star and a member of the All-NBA First team on 6 occasions. Hakeem Olajuwon had a significant impact on the NBA and was one of the great big men to play the game.

1.) Michael Jordan

1984 NBA Draft

(Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards)

Original Pick – Round 1 Pick 3 (Chicago Bulls) from North Carolina

Playing Career – (1984-1993) ) (1995-1998) (2001-2003)

Games – 1072

Playoffs – 179

Points Average – 30.1

Rebounds Average – 6.2

Assists Average – 5.3

Steals Average – 2.3

6 x NBA Champion

6 x NBA Finals MVP

5 X NBA Most Valuable Player

14 x NBA All-Star

10 x All-NBA First Team

1 x NBA Defensive Player of the Year

9 x All NBA Defensive First Team

10 x NBA Scoring Champion

Michael Jordan is widely considered as the GOAT of basketball and one of the greatest sportspeople ever. Who knew at the Conclusion of the 1984 NBA Season that the game was about to get a treat from one of the greatest players ever.

He played in the NBA Finals on 6 Occasions and has an incredible record of 6-0, which may never be equalled. 

Michael Jordan could score at will and is one of the most competitive sportspeople in history.

On numerous occasions, he would win games for the Chicago Bulls and has a highlight reel that is second to none.

A 6-time NBA Champion, 6-Time Finals MVP and 5-Time NBA MVP he made his mark on the game and made the game more popular in the process. The Michael Jordan Jersey was one of the most sold basketball jersey’s of all-time.

That’s the Top 6 performers of the 1984 NBA Draft. 

The NBA Draft can be hit and miss on occasions but we can all agree that at least 4 of the players drafted that year went on to become All-Time greats of the NBA.

If you disagree with the six or want to mention your own five leave a comment below.

Sit back and enjoy the Top 10 Plays from Michael Jordan.

If you likes this post, also check out our post on the best 10 players in tennis grand slams over the last 20 years.

We also have some tips on how to compete in your next Daily Fantasy NBA Competition.

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About dailysportsbuddy 287 Articles
A sports enthusiast with a specific focus on the AFL Brownlow Medal Count. A model that focuses on analysing matches, analysing previous counts and using key statistics to help determine which players have the best chance of polling in the count.


  1. I’m not the sports buff that my sons are, but they talk frequently about the different drafts, including NBA and also NFL. Not only are they following the drafts themselves, they are also involved with the fantasy sports leagues. Although they haven’t talked about the 1984 draft (they were born after that) they have talked about a couple of the players from it. It seems teams are always hunting for the next Jordan or Barkley. 

    I found it interesting that you mention that teams often find misses, as well as hits, in the draft. I guess we don’t always think about how a great college player may just not make it in the pros. I’m sure the teams are acutely aware, though.

    Thanks for the article. I’m going to share with my sports-loving sons and get their opinions, too!

    • Hi 

      I appreciate your comments.

      The 1984 NBA Draft has become a hot talking point in recent months with the release of The Last Dance, Chicago Bulls Series. 

      It still remains one of the great NBA Drafts of All-Time with the greatest player of All-Time being apart it. It is always hard to nail the pick, but some of the top picks in NBA Drafts have failed to love up to expectations.



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