With the 2015 NBA Draft on the horizon, BTPowerhouse has started looking at the history of each Big Ten program in the NBA Draft and how some of their players have performed. Today, we will look at the history of the Michigan Wolverines in the NBA Draft.
There's no arguing the stockpile of NBA draftees distilled by the likes of Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and North Carolina. That being said, the Maize and Blue have had their plentiful share of talent flourish in the NBA.
The University of Michigan has had 66 players selected in the NBA Draft, including 23 first round picks and two No. 1 overall selections in Cazzie Russell (1966) and Chris Webber (1993). Rudy Tomjanovich was a No. 2 overall pick in the 1970 NBA Draft by the San Diego Rockets.
Five players have gone on to become NBA Champions for a total of nine times and eight players have become NBA All-Stars 18 times. The 1990 NBA Draft Class saw four players selected, three in the first round. Rumeal Robinson was picked 10th, Loy Vaught was selected 13th, Terry Mills 16th, and Sean Higgins was drafted 53rd in the second round.
The Wolverines had three players selected in last year's 2014 NBA Draft. Nik Stauskas was selected 8th, Mitch McGary was picked 21st, and Glenn Robinson was the 40th selection in the second round. Trey Burke (9th) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (24th) headlined the 2013 NBA Draft.
Glen Rice, who was the fourth overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, is one of nine players to ever win an NBA title, NCAA title, and a high school championship.
Four of the Fab Five made it to the NBA. Chris Webber in 1993, Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose in 1994, and Jimmy King in 1995. Ray Jackson was the only player not drafted.
And what about the coaches responsible for developing the great ones? Johnny Orr (1968-1980) and Bill Frieder (1980-1989) top the list with 16 draftees a piece. Steve Fisher (1989-1997) cranked out 11 players to the NBA. And John Beilein (2007-Present) has accounted for seven players and rising.
It looks like no players will be chosen in this year's 2015 NBA Draft. Michigan's roster is talented, but youthful. Expect Caris LeVert to be a first-rounder in 2016.
The most productive span of NBA draftees was from 1969-1979 when 16 players were chosen. The longest drought was five years (2005-2009) when no players were selected. In fact, from 2004-2010 only two players made the grade.
There are currently seven Michigan players on active NBA rosters.
Former Michigan Stars Presently In the NBA:
|Player||POS||HT||WT||Draft Year||NBA Team||GP||PPG|
Top 10 Draft Picks In Michigan History
No. 1 Chris Webber: The top pick in the 1993 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, Webber played 15 seasons in the NBA with five different clubs. His 20.7 points per game is the highest career average among the Michigan Greats to play in the NBA. He appeared in five All-Star games, was Rookie of the Year in 1994, and earned First Team All-NBA in 2001. Webber scored 17,182 points and grabbed 8,124 rebounds during an illustrious career.
No. 2 Rudy Tomjanovich: The second overall pick in the 1970 NBA Draft by the San Diego Rockets, Tomjanovich played all 11 of his NBA seasons with the Rockets. He owns a career average of 17.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and scored 13,383 career points and grabbed 6,198 career rebounds. Tomjanovich went on to coach for 13 seasons in the NBA, leading the Houston Rockets to NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.
No. 3 Glen Rice: The fourth overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Rice spent 15 seasons with six different teams. He was a three-time NBA All-Star, including MVP in the 1997 game. Rice scored 18,336 points in his NBA career, including 1,559 three-point field goals, eighth most in NBA history. "Boom Baby." Rice was also a member of the 2000 LA Lakers championship team.
No. 4 Cazzie Russell: The No. 1 overall choice by the New York Knicks in the 1966 NBA Draft, Russell played 12 seasons with four different squads. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1967 and helped the Knicks win an NBA title in 1970. An All-Star in 1972, Russell scored 12,377 points in his NBA career. The man with the kick-back-legs jump shot also averaged 15.1 points per game during his stint.
No. 5 Jalen Rose: The 13th overall spot in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, Rose played 13 years with six different teams. His career average was 14.3 points per game. Rose scored 13,220 points and dished out 3,527 assists in his NBA career. The gentleman has transitioned nicely into the ESPN broadcast booth.
No. 6 Juwan Howard: The fifth overall selection in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Washington Bullets, Howard played 19 seasons with eight different teams. He scored 16,159 points and grabbed 7,428 rebounds in his career. In 1996 he was an NBA All-Star and made All-NBA Third Team.
No. 7 Jamal Crawford: The eighth overall selection in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Crawford has just completed his 15th season. The ageless wonder has been with the LA Clippers the past three seasons. As a member of the Atlanta Hawks, he was named the NBA's Sixth Man Award in 2010, averaging 18.0 points a game. Crawford has scored 15,956 points and dished out 3,727 assists in his NBA career.
No. 8 Phil Hubbard: The 15th pick in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, Hubbard spent 10 seasons in the NBA, including eight as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hubbard tallied 7,228 points and 3,538 rebounds in his NBA stay.
No. 9 Terry Mills: The 16th overall choice in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Mills played 11 seasons in the NBA with five different teams. He averaged 10.5 PPG and scored 7,175 career points and collected 3,680 rebounds.
No. 10 Rickey Green: The 16th selection in the 1977 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, the speedy Green played 14 seasons in the NBA, including eight years with the Utah Jazz. A 1984 NBA All-Star, Green scored 8,870 points and registered 5,221 assists in his NBA career. This Alpha Dog could blaze up and down that court.
Other Michigan stars that failed to make the Top 10 list include Campy Russell, Gary Grant, Roy Tarpley, Robert Traylor, Mike McGee, and Tim McCormick.
Have a different list? Feel free to disagree with my selections in the Comments Section.