NBA draft goes according to bosses' orders UNLV's Johnson selected at No. 1


LANDOVER -- The pecking order in NBA team hierarchies was clearly defined in the draft last night, when the Charlotte Hornets made Nevada-Las Vegas forward Larry Johnson the first pick and the New Jersey Nets followed by choosing Georgia Tech guard Kenny Anderson.

Hornets coach Gene Littles had told the Charlotte media he preferred Syracuse's versatile forward Billy Owens over Johnson, but had been overruled by general manager Allan Bristow.

In New Jersey, coach Bill Fitch and general manager Willis Reed leaned toward picking Owens, who was a college teammate of Nets power forward Derrick Coleman, last season's NBA Rookie of the Year.

But Nets owner Henry Taub, listening to the overwhelming support of the New York media and the fans in favor of Anderson, a New York native, cast the deciding vote.

The Meadowlands long has been a wasteland, with the Nets consistently finishing near the bottom in attendance. Anderson's flamboyant style and legendary prep career in New York is expected to heighten interest in the franchise.

The Sacramento Kings, who had anticipated choosing Anderson with the third choice, settled for Owens. A number of NBA coaches had suggested that Anderson, who favors an up-tempo game, would not have fit in Kings coach Dick Motta's conservative, inside power game.

Most draft projections had a big six of Johnson, Anderson, Owens, Georgetown center Dikembe Mutombo, Michigan State guard Steve Smith and Missouri forward Doug Smith.

The Denver Nuggets, who are expected to trade center Blair Rasmussen, grabbed Mutombo, a 7-foot-1 defensive specialist who improved his offense significantly last season.

The Miami Heat followed by selecting Steve Smith, rated the best shooting guard. The Dallas Mavericks, uncertain of power forward Roy Tarpley's basketball future -- Tarpley has been treated for drug problems -- solidified their frontcourt by taking Doug Smith, who is capable of playing both forward positions.

The remainder of the first round was spiced by a couple of trades involving front-line players.

The Washington Bullets had opened the activity two weeks ago by trading their eighth pick to Denver for point guard Michael Adams. The Nuggets used the higher choice last night to take Temple shooting guard Mark Macon.

The Atlanta Hawks, looking to rebuild after several quick exits from the playoffs, traded veteran floor leader Doc Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for the ninth selection, plus a second-round picks in 1993 and 1994.

The Hawks used the pick to claim UNLV small forward Stacey Augmon, a Dennis Rodman look-alike whose stock fell with a disappointing Final Four performance.

There were few major surprises among the other high picks. The Minnesota Timberwolves seemed certain to unload one of their holdover centers -- Felton Spencer or Randy Breuer -- after taking Australian-born Luc Longley, a 7- 1/2 , 270-pound center from New Mexico, with the seventh choice.

The New York Knicks created a logjam at point guard by selecting UNLV's Greg Anthony -- the third Runnin' Rebel among the top 12 choices.

Anthony will be competing against Maurice Cheeks, who showed signs of slipping last season, and Mark Jackson, who spent most of the year in the coach's doghouse. Jackson's $1 million-plus salary makes him difficult to trade, however.

The Golden State Warriors, featuring the smallest starting five in the league, used the 16th and 17th picks for two big forwards -- Chris Gatling, 6-10, of Old Dominion and Victor Alexander, 6-9, of Iowa State.

Milwaukee selected Southwestern Louisiana's Kevin Brooks, who finished his college career with 2,294 points and 719 rebounds, but coach Del Harris said last night that the club planned to trade Brooks. Harris didn't say for whom the Bucks would trade Brooks. Last year, Milwaukee drafted Terry Mills, then traded him to Denver for Danny Schayes.

Harris also said the Bucks would release veteran center Jack Sikma.

Top picks

The first 11 selections in the NBA draft, those spots reserved for teams that don't make the playoffs (trades can alter the order):

Team Player

1. Charlotte Larry Johnson

2. New Jersey Kenny Anderson

3. Sacramento Billy Owens

4. Denver Dikembe Mutombo

5. Miami Steve Smith

6. Dallas Doug Smith

7. Minnesota Luc Longley

8. Denver Mark Macon

9. Atlanta Stacey Augmon

10. Orlando Brian Williams

11. Cleveland Terrell Brandon

Draft picks

First round

1, Charlotte, Larry Johnson, 6-5 1/2 , f, UNLV. 2, New Jersey, Kenny Anderson, 6-2, g, Georgia Tech. 3, Sacramento, Billy Owens, 6-9, f, Syracuse. 4, Denver, Dikembe Mutombo, 7-2, c, Georgetown. 5, Miami, Steve Smith, 6-7, g, Michigan State. 6, Dallas, Doug Smith, 6-10, f, Missouri. 7, Minnesota, Luc Longley, 7-2, c, New Mexico.

8, Denver (from Washington), Mark Macon, 6-5, g, Temple. 9, Atlanta (from Los Angeles Clippers), Stacey Augmon, 6-8, f, UNLV. 10, Orlando, Brian Williams, 6-11, f, Arizona. 11, Cleveland, Terrell Brandon, 5-11, g, Oregon. 12, New York, Greg Anthony, 6-2, g, UNLV. 13, Indiana, Dale Davis, 6-11, c, Clemson. 14, Seattle, Rich King, 7-2, c, Nebraska.

15, Atlanta, Anthony Avent, 6-10, f, Seton Hall. 16, Golden State (from Philadelphia), Chris Gatling, 6-10, f, Old Dominion. 17, Golden State, Victor Alexander, 6-9, c, Iowa State. 18, Milwaukee, Kevin Brooks, 6-8, f, Southwestern Louisiana. 19, Washington (from Detroit via Dallas and Denver), LaBradford Smith, 6-3, g, Louisville. 20, Houston, John Turner, 6-9, f, Phillips. 21, Utah, Eric Murdock, 6-2, g, Providence.

22, Los Angeles Clippers (from Phoenix via Seattle), LeRon Ellis, 6-10, c, Syracuse. 23, Orlando (from San Antonio), Stanley Roberts, 7-0, c, Real Madrid. 24, Boston, Rick Fox, 6-7, f, North Carolina. 25, Golden State (from Los Angeles Lakers), Shaun Vandiver, 6-10, f, Colorado. 26, Chicago, Mark Randall, 6-9, f, Kansas. 27, Sacramento (from Portland), Pete Chilcutt, 6-10, f, .. North Carolina.

Second round

28, Charlotte (from Denver), Kevin Lynch, 6-5, g, Minnesota. 29, Miami, George Ackles, 6-9, f, UNLV. 30, Atlanta (from Sacramento), Rodney Monroe, 6-2, g, North Carolina State. 31, Sacramento (from New Jersey), Randy Brown, 6-0, g, New Mexico State. 32, Phoenix (from Charlotte), Chad Gallagher, 6-10, c, Creighton. 33, Dallas, Donald Hodge, 7-0, c, Temple. 34, Minnesota, Myron Brown, 6-3, g, Slippery Rock.

35, Dallas (from Washington via Sacramento), Mike Iuzzolino, 5-10, g, St. Francis, Pa. 36, Orlando, Chris Corchiani, 5-11, g, North Carolina State. 37, Los Angeles Clippers, Elliot Perry, 6-0, g, Memphis State. 38, Los Angeles Clippers (from Cleveland), Joe Wylie, 6-9, f, Miami, Fla. 39, Cleveland (from New York via Charlotte), Jimmy Oliver, 6-5, g, Purdue. 40, Detroit (from Seattle), Doug Overton, 6-2, g, La Salle. 41, Indiana, Sean Green, 6-5, g, Iona.

42, Sacramento (from Atlanta), Steve Hood, 6-5, g, James Madison. 43, Golden State, Lamont Strothers, 6-4, g, Christopher Newport. 44, Philadelphia, Alvaro Teheran, 7-1, c, Houston. 45, Milwaukee, Bobby Phills, 6-5, g, Southern U. 46, Phoenix (from Detroit), Richard Dumas, 6-6, f, Israel. 47, Houston, Keith Hughes, 6-6, f, Rutgers. 48, Utah, Isaac Austin, 6-10, c, Arizona State.

49, San Antonio, Greg Sutton, 6-0, g, Oral Roberts. 50, Phoenix, Joey Wright, 6-3, g, Texas. 51, Houston (from Boston via New Jersey and Cleveland), Zan Tabak, 6-11, c, Yugoslavia. 52, Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Jones, 6-7, f, Oral Roberts. 53, New Jersey (from Chicago), Von McDade, 6-4, g, Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 54, Portland, Marcus Kennedy, 6-6, f, Eastern Michigan.

No. 1 picks

1991: Larry Johnson, Charlotte, F, UNLV

1990: Derrick Coleman, New Jersey, F, Syracuse

1989: Pervis Ellison, Sacramento, C, Louisville

1988: Danny Manning, Los Angeles Clippers, F, Kansas

1987: David Robinson, San Antonio, C, Navy

1986: Brad Daugherty, Cleveland, C, North Carolina

1985: Patrick Ewing, New York, C, Georgetown

1984: Akeem Olajuwon, Houston, C, Houston

1983: Ralph Sampson, Houston, C, Virginia

1982: James Worthy, Los Angeles Lakers, F, North Carolina

1981: Mark Aguirre, Dallas, F, DePaul

1980: Joe Barry Carroll, Golden State, C, Purdue

1979: Earvin Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers, G, Michigan State

1978: Mychal Thompson, Portland, C, Minnesota

1977: Kent Benson, Milwaukee, C, Indiana

1976: John Lucas, Houston, G, Maryland

1975: David Thompson, Atlanta, G, North Carolina St.

1974: Bill Walton, Portland, C, UCLA

1973: Doug Collins, Philadelphia, G, Illinois St.

1972: LaRue Martin, Portland, C, Loyola, Ill.

1971: Austin Carr, Cleveland, G, Notre Dame

1970: Bob Lanier, Detroit, C, St. Bonaventure

1969: Lew Alcindor, Milwaukee, C, UCLA

1968: Elvin Hayes, Houston, C, Houston

1967: Jimmy Walker, Detroit, G, Providence

1966: Cazzie Russell, New York, F, Michigan

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad