|1983 NBA draft|
|Date(s)||June 28, 1983|
|Location||Felt Forum (New York City, New York)|
|226 total selections in 10 rounds|
|First selection||Ralph Sampson (Houston Rockets)|
The 1983 NBA draft took place on June 28, 1983, in New York City. A total of 226 players were selected over 10 rounds by the league's 23 teams.
The first overall pick of this draft was 7’4” center Ralph Sampson, predicted as an NBA superstar since high school. The three-time College Player of the Year had spent all four years of his college career at the University of Virginia, and was taken first by the Houston Rockets. Displaying his graceful above-the-rim game and ability to run the court like a guard, he got off to a certain Hall of Fame bound start as an NBA All-Star and NBA Rookie of the Year before injuries several seasons in derailed his career.
Sampson was joined in the Hall by University of Houston Cougars standout Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, taken number 14 by the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite there being only 23 teams at the time of the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers were awarded the 24th pick out of courtesy. Then-owner Ted Stepien was infamous for repeatedly trading first-round picks in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which, considering Cleveland's morose records in that time period, eventually culminated in the NBA creating a rule banning teams from dealing all of their first-round picks in consecutive years.
Four players from the 1983 draft later served or now serve as coaches—Doc Rivers for the Philadelphia 76ers, Randy Wittman for the Washington Wizards, Byron Scott for the Los Angeles Lakers from 2014 to 2016, and point guard of the 1983 NCAA championship North Carolina State Wolfpack Sidney Lowe.
7’7” Manute Bol was selected in the 5th round by the Clippers, but the NBA rejected the pick on technicalities. Manute had never filed draft paperwork, and his passport listed him at 19 (at the time, 19 years was too young to be drafted).
|PG||Point guard||SG||Shooting guard||SF||Small forward||PF||Power forward||C||Center|
|^||Denotes player who has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame|
|*||Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game and All-NBA Team|
|+||Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game|
|#||Denotes player who has never appeared in an NBA regular season or playoff game|
*Compensation for draft choices previously traded away by Ted Stepien.
Notable post-second round picks
- "Complete First Round Results 1980-89". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. Archived from the original on March 21, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
- "1983 NBA Draft". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
- "1982–1986 NBA Drafts". The Association for Professional Basketball Research. Archived from the original on 16 November 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2010.