The 1985 draft was one of the deepest and most balanced of all time. There were contributors from the beginning of the draft to as far down as the 160th selection. The ’85 draft was 162 picks over seven rounds with the first round consisting of 24 picks. Of the 162 players selected, 66 of them played in the NBA, according to Basketball-Reference.com. Of those 66 players, Mario Elie (Round seven, 160th overall) was the player taken with the lowest pick to play in the league.
Even with all the talent available, there were still plenty of missed picks in the first round. The team that benefited the most was the Utah Jazz, who ended up with a franchise building block and one of the best players in team history.
Note: even though Arvydas Sabonis was drafted in the fourth round of the ’85 draft he isn’t included in this because he was also selected in the ’86 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and they were the team that retained his rights.
24. Manute Bol: Bol was originally taken with the seventh pick in the second round (31st overall) by the Washington Bullets. Bol played 10 seasons in th NBA with the Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. His best season came in ’85-86 when Bol appeared in 80 games (60 starts) and averaged 3.7 points, six rebounds and a league-leading five blocks a game.
For his career, Bol averaged 2.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in 624 games (133 starts).
23. Ed Pinckney: Pinckney was originally taken with the 10th overall pick by the Phoenix Suns. Pinckney played 12 seasons for the Suns, Sacramento Kings, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat. His most productive season came with the Suns in ’86-87 when Pinckney played in 80 games (65 starts) and averaged 10.5 points on 58.4 percent shooting to go along with 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals.
For his career, Pinckney averaged 6.8 points and five rebounds in 793 games (335 starts).
22. Jerry Reynolds: Reynolds was originally taken with the 22nd overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. Reynolds played eight seasons over 11 years for the Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics and the Orlando Magic. His best season came in ’89-90 with the Magic when Reynolds averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals and a block a night in 67 games (40 starts).
For his career, Reynolds averaged 9.1 points, three rebounds, two assists and 1.1 steals in 443 contests (118 starts).
21. Sam Vincent: Vincent was originally taken with the 20th overall pick by the Boston Celtics. Vincent played seven seasons with the Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics, Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic. His best year came in ’89-90 with the Magic when Vincent averaged 11.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists and one steal 63 games (45 starts).
For his career, Vincent averaged 7.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 396 games (168 starts).
20. Blair Rasmussen: Rasmussen was originally taken with the 15th overall pick by the Denver Nuggets. Rasmussen played eight seasons for the Nuggets and the Atlanta Hawks. His best season came with the Nuggets in ’90-91 when Rasmussen played in 70 games (69 starts) and averaged 12.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, one assist and 1.9 blocks.
For his career, Rasmussen averaged 9.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and nearly a block in 532 contests (282 starts).
19. Mario Elie: Elie was originally taken with the 21st pick in the seventh round (160th overall) by the Milwaukee Bucks. Elie played 11 seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns. His most productive season came with the Rockets in ’96-97 when he averaged 11.7 points on 89.6 percent shooting from the free-throw line, three rebounds, four assists and 1.2 steals in 78 games (77 starts).
For his career, Elie won three NBA Championships while averaging 8.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists 732 games (395 starts).
18. Sam Mitchell: Mitchell was originally taken with the seventh pick in the third round (54th overall) by the Houston Rockets. Mitchell played 13 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Indiana Pacers. His best season came with the Timberwolves in ’90-91 when Mitchell averaged 14.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 82 games (60 starts).
For his career, Mitchell averaged 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 994 games (322 starts).
17. Tyrone Corbin: Corbin was originally taken with the 11th pick in the second round (35th overall) by the San Antonio Spurs. Corbin played 16 seasons for the Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors. His best season came with the Timberwolves in ’90-91 when Corbin played 39 minutes a night and averaged 18 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and two steals while starting all 82 games.
For his career, Corbin averaged 9.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 1,065 games (458 starts).
16. Spud Webb: Webb was originally taken with the 17th pick in the fourth round (87th overall) by the Detroit Pistons. Webb played 12 seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic. His most productive season came in ’91-92 in his first year with the Kings when Webb averaged started all 77 games he played in and averaged 16 points, 2.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1.6 steals a night.
For his career, Webb averaged 9.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 814 games (429 starts).
15. Terry Catledge: Catledge was originally taken with the 21st overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. Catledge played eight seasons with the 76ers, Washington Bullets and the Orlando Magic. His best season came in ’89-90 with the Magic when Catledge appeared in 74 games (72 starts) and averaged a career-high 19.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and one assist a night.
For his career, Catledge averaged 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in 515 games (379 starts).
14. Gerald Wilkins: Wilkins was originally taken with the 23rd pick of the second round (47th overall) by the New York Knicks. Wilkins played 13 seasons for the Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and the Vancouver Grizzlies. Wilkins had the best year of his career in ’86-87 with the Knicks when he averaged 19.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 80 games (73 starts).
For his career, 13 points, 2.9 rebounds, three assists and one steal in 900 games (653 starts).
13. John “Hot Rod” Williams: Williams was originally taken with the 21st pick of the second round (45th overall) by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Williams played 13 seasons with the Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks. His best season came in ’89-90 with Cleveland when Williams averaged a career-high 16.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocked shots.
For his career, Williams averaged 11 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 blocks in 887 games (518 starts).
12. Benoit Benjamin: Benjamin was originally taken with the third overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers. Benjamin played 15 seasons with the Clippers, Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Vancouver Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. His best season came in ’88-89 with the Clippers when Benjamin averaged 16.4 points on 54.1 percent shooting from the floor, 8.8 rebounds, two assists and 2.8 blocked shots.
For his career, Benjamin averaged 11.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and two blocks in 807 games (614 starts).
11. A.C. Green: Green was originally taken with the 23rd overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers. Green played 16 seasons for the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. Even though Green was an All-Star in ’89-90 with Los Angeles, his most productive season came in ’93-94 with the Suns. That year, Green averaged a career-high 14.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
For his career, Green averaged 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 1,278 games (832 starts) while winning three Championship rings with the Lakers.
10. Michael Adams: Adams was originally taken with the 19th pick of the third round (66th overall) by the Sacramento Kings. Adams played 11 seasons for the Kings, Washington Bullets, Denver Nuggets and the Charlotte Hornets. Even though he only played in 18 games with Sacramento before being waived midway through his rookie season, Adams carved out an impressive career. Even though Adams was an All-Star ’91-92 with the Bullets, the most impressive year of his career came in ’90-91 when he was with the Nuggets. That season, Adams averaged 26.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 2.2 steals while starting all 66 games he played in.
For his career, Adams averaged 14.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.7 steals in 653 games (510 starts).
9. Wayman Tisdale: Tisdale was originally selected with the second overall pick by the Indiana Pacers. Tisdale played 12 seasons for the Pacers, Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns. While he was a very consistent scorer during his time in Indiana, it wasn’t until he got traded to the Kings that Tisdale really showed his offensive skills. His most impressive season came with Sacramento in ’89-90 when Tisdale averaged 22.3 points on 52.5 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
For his career, Tisdale averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 840 games (534 starts).
8. Xavier McDaniel: McDaniel was originally taken with the fourth overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics. McDaniel played 12 seasons for the SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and the New Jersey Nets. While McDaniel had a long and productive career,it was during his time with the Sonics that McDaniel excelled. In 408 games over six seasons, McDaniel averaged 20.7 points, seven rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals. Even though he made the All-Star game in ’87-88, McDaniel had his most productive season in ’86-87 when he averaged 23 points on 50.9 percent shooting, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals while starting all 82 games.
For his career, McDaniel averaged 15.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and two assists in 870 games (529 starts).
7. Terry Porter: Porter was originally taken with the 24th overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers. Porter played 17 seasons for the Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. After Porter spent his rookie season coming off the bench, Porter earned the starting point guard spot in year two and was a huge reason why Portland made two trips to the NBA Finals. Porter had his most impressive seasons with the Trail Blazers where he played in two All-Star games and averaged at more than eight assists a game during five consecutive seasons. One of his best seasons came in ’88-89 when Porter averaged 17.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.8 steals a night.
For his career, Porter averaged 12.2 points, three rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 1,274 games (732 starts).
6. Charles Oakley: Oakley was originally taken with the ninth overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers and then traded to the Chicago Bulls. Oakley played 19 seasons with the Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and the Houston Rockets. While Oakley was known as more of a bruiser later in his career, Oakley was a double-double machine in his early days hitting that mark in six of his first nine seasons. The one-time All-Star had his most productive year of his career in ’86-87 when Oakley averaged 14.5 points, 13.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and one steal while appearing in all 82 games (81 starts). Oakley also did damage on the defensive end of the floor where he was named to the NBA All-defensive first-team in ’93-94 and second-team in ’97-98.
For his career, Oakley averaged 9.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 1,282 games (1,159 starts).
5. Detlef Schrempf: Schrempf was originally taken with the eighth pick by the Dallas Mavericks. Schrempf played 16 seasons with the Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Seattle SuperSonics and the Portland Trail Blazers. Even though Schrempf was solid during his time in Dallas, it wasn’t until he got traded to Indiana that Schrempf really began to show how valuable he could be. Used primarily off the bench in his first three seasons with the Pacers was a great fit for Schrempf who won back-to-back Sixth Man of the Year awards in ’90-91 and ’91-92. A year later, Schrempf became a full-time starter for the first time in his career and proceeded to make three All-Star games in a five-year span with the Pacers and the SuperSonics. One of the best years of his career came in ’92-93 when Schrempf averaged 19.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, six assists and a steal a game. Two years later, Schrempf earned All-NBA third team after averaging a career high 19.2 points on 52.3 percent shooting including 51.4 percent from the 3-point line.
For his career, Schrempf averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 1,136 games (524 starts).
4. Joe Dumars: Dumars was originally taken with the 18th overall pick by the Detroit Pistons. Dumars spent his entire 14-year career with the Pistons and was a key piece on back-to-back NBA championship teams. In fact. Dumars was named the Finals MVP after Detroit’s first title in ’89. Dumars was one of the best two-way players of his generation earning NBA All-defensive first-team four times while also making six All-Star games. One of his most impressive seasons came in ’92-93 when Dumars earned All-NBA second-team after averaging a career-high 23.5 points to go along with 1.9 rebounds, four assists and one steal a contest.
For his career, Dumars averaged 16.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in 1,018 games (944 starts). For his efforts, Dumars was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
3. Chris Mullin: Mullin was originally taken with the seventh overall pick by the Golden State Warriors. Mullin played 16 seasons for the Warriors and the Indiana Pacers and finished his career as one of the games best shooting wing players of all-time. In fact, Mullin shooting better than 50 percent from the floor for seven consecutive seasons. During five of those seasons, Mullin averaged more than 25 points a game and made the Western Conference All-Star team. One of his most impressive seasons came in ’88-89 when Mullin averaged a career-high 26.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals a game to earn All-NBA second team honors. Three years later, Mullin would earn All-NBA first team after averaging 25.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 steals.
For his career, Mullin averaged 18.2 points on 50.9 percent shooting to go along with 4.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 986 games (822 starts). Mullin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 for his stellar performance.
2. Patrick Ewing: Ewing was originally selected with the first overall pick by the New York Knicks. Ewing played 17 seasons with the Knicks, Orlando Magic and Seattle SuperSonics. Ewing started off his NBA career in dominant fashion by winning the Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 20 points, nine rebounds, two assists, 1.1 steals and 2.1 blocks a game. He followed that up with 12 more seasons of scoring more than 20 points a game. During that stretch, Ewing earned All-NBA second-team six times as well as All-NBA first-team in ’89-90. That season, Ewing averaged a career-high 28.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and four blocks a game.
For his career, the 11 time All-Star averaged 22 points, 10.3 rebounds, two assists, a steal and 2.6 blocks in 1,183 games (1,122). Ewing was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
1. Karl Malone: Malone was originally selected with the 13th overall pick by the Utah Jazz. Malone spent 19 seasons in the NBA with the Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers and finished his career as one of the best power forwards in league history. The 14 time All-Star earned All-NBA first team 11 times and won the NBA MVP twice. He also finished in the top five in scoring 13 times and was a huge reason why the Jazz made it to a pair of NBA Finals in the late 90’s. On top of that, Malone was named NBA All-defensive first-team three times. One of the most impressive statistical years of his career came in ’89-90 when Malone averaged a career-high 31 points on 56.2 percent shooting to go along with 11.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals a game.
During his time in the NBA Malone averaged 25 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 1,476 games (1,471 starts). Malone was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 for his historic career.