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NBA Draft | NBA Mock Draft | 2006 Draft Profiles | Message Board

By Jon Teitel

June 15th, 2006


NBA Draft: Top Early Entry Picks


Even though it seems like a recent trend, there's nothing new about underclassmen going pro.  Since the mid-seventies, stars like Adrian Dantley, Bernard King, and Magic Johnson failed to complete four years of college basketball.  In fact, in every Draft of the last 30 years, at least one early entrant has gone on to have a lengthy and successful NBA career.  Here is our ranking of the top underclassman to come out of each NBA Draft since 1976.  To think that this list does not even include Larry Bird or Dwyane Wade, you realize just how much underclassmen have shaped the NBA landscape for decades.


Year Name School/grade Team Rd.
1976 Adrian Dantley Notre Dame/JR Buffalo 1
1977 Bernard King Tennessee/JR New York 1
1978 Reggie Theus UNLV/JR Chicago 1
1979 Magic Johnson Michigan State/SO Los Angeles 1
1980 Jeff Ruland Iona/JR Golden St 2
1981 Isiah Thomas Indiana/SO Detroit 1
1982 Dominique Wilkins Georgia/JR Utah 1
1983 Clyde Drexler Houston/JR Portland 1
1984 Michael Jordan North Carolina/JR Chicago 1
1985 Karl Malone Louisiana Tech/JR Utah 1
1986 John Williams Louisiana State/SO Washington 1
1987 Derrick McKey Alabama/JR Seattle 1
1988 Rod Strickland DePaul/JR New York 1
1989 Shawn Kemp Trinity Valley CC/FR Seattle 1
1990 Dennis Scott Georgia Tech/JR Orlando 1
1991 Kenny Anderson Georgia Tech/SO New Jersey 1
1992 Shaquille O’Neal Louisiana State/JR Orlando 1
1993 Chris Webber Michigan/SO Orlando 1
1994 Jason Kidd California/SO Dallas 1
1995 Kevin Garnett Farragut Academy/HS Minnesota 1
1996 Kobe Bryant Lower Merion/HS Charlotte 1
1997 Chauncey Billups Colorado/SO Boston 1
1998 Paul Pierce Kansas/JR Boston 1
1999 Elton Brand Duke/SO Chicago 1
2000 Michael Redd Ohio State/JR Milwaukee 2
2001 Gilbert Arenas Arizona/SO Golden St 2
2002 Amare Stoudemire Cypress Creek HS Phoenix 1
2003 LeBron James St. Vincent-St. Mary’s HS Cleveland 1
2004 Dwight Howard SW Atlanta Christian HS Orlando 1
2005 Chris Paul Georgia Tech/SO N. Orleans 1



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