1998 NBA Draft

1998 NBA Draft

1998 NBA Draft Vancouver
The 98 Draft was held in Vancouver

The 1998 NBA Draft occurred on June 24, 1998, in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada at General Motors Place. It is best known as the draft that enabled Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki to enter the league. Former Finals MVP Paul Pierce was also selected in 1998, by the Boston Celtics, at #10. To this date, Carter is the only active player remaining in the NBA.

1998 NBA Draft Class

There were several highly-touted prospects in the 98 draft. Antwan Jamison, Mike Bibby, and Robert Traylor were perhaps the most notable collegiate prospects at the time, with Carter, Pierce, and Micheal Dickerson also well known to college basketball fans. St John’s Guard Felipe Lopez was an accomplished prospect who some scouts considered a phenom in his amateur years. The class also consisted of legendary foreign import Dirk Nowitzki and multiple High School prospects including Al Harrington and Rashard Lewis.

1998 NBA Draft Order

#Team
1Clippers
2Grizzlies
3Nuggets
4Raptors
5Warriors
6Mavericks
7Kings
876ers
9Bucks
10Celtics
11Pistons
12Magic
13Magic
14Rockets
15Magic
16Rockets
17Timberwolves
18Rockets
19Bucks
20Hawks
21Hornets
22Clippers
23Nuggets
24Spurs
25Pacers
26Lakers
27Sonics
28Bulls
29Jazz
30Mavericks
31Lakers
32Sonics
33Sonics
34Bulls
35Mavericks
36Kings
3776ers
38Knicks
39Bucks
40Pistons
41Rockets
42Magic
43Wizards
44Knicks
45Lakers
46Timberwolves
47Raptors
48Cavs
49Hawks
50Hornets
51Heat
52Spurs
53Mavericks
54Nuggets
55Nuggets
56Grizzlies
57Jazz
58Bulls

1998 NBA Draft Results

#SelectionTeam
1Michael OlowokandiClippers
2Mike BibbyGrizzlies
3Raef LaFrentzNuggets
4Antawn JamisonRaptors (Traded to GSW)
5Vince CarterWarriors (Traded to TOR)
6Robert TraylorMavericks (Traded to MIL)
7Jason WilliamsKings
8Larry Hughes76ers
9Dirk NowitzkiBucks (Traded to DAL)
10Paul PierceCeltics
11Bonzi WellsPistons
12Michael DoleacMagic
13Keon ClarkMagic
14Michael DickersonRockets
15Matt HarpringMagic
16Bryce DrewRockets
17Rasho NesterovićTimberwolves
18Mirsad TürkcanRockets
19Pat GarrityBucks (Traded to PHO)
20Roshown McLeodHawks
21Ricky DavisHornets
22Brian SkinnerClippers
23Tyronn LueNuggets (Traded to LAL)
24Felipe LópezSpurs (Traded to VAN)
25Al HarringtonPacers
26Sam JacobsonLakers
27Vladimir StepaniaSonics
28Corey BenjaminBulls
29Nazr MohammedJazz (Traded to PHI)
30Ansu SesayMavericks
31Ruben PattersonLakers
32Rashard LewisSonics
33Jelani McCoySonics
34Shammond WilliamsBulls
35Bruno ŠundovMavericks
36Jerome JamesKings
37Casey Shaw76ers
38DeMarco JohnsonKnicks
39Rafer AlstonBucks
40Korleone YoungPistons
41Cuttino MobleyRockets
42Miles SimonMagic
43Jahidi WhiteWizards
44Sean MarksKnicks
45Toby BaileyLakers
46Andrae PattersonTimberwolves
47Tyson WheelerRaptors
48Ryan StackCavs
49Cory CarrHawks
50Andrew BettsHornets
51Corey BrewerHeat
52Derrick DialSpurs
53Greg BucknerMavericks
54Tremaine FowlkesNuggets
55Ryan BowenNuggets
56J.R. HendersonGrizzlies
57Torraye BraggsJazz
58Maceo BastonBulls

1998 NBA Redraft

#SelectionTeam
1Vince CarterClippers
2Dirk NowitzkiGrizzlies
3Paul PierceNuggets
4Mike Bibby Raptors
5Jason WilliamsWarriors
6Rashard LewisMavericks
7Al HarringtonKings
8Cuttino Mobley76ers
9Antawn JamisonBucks
10Bonzi WellsCeltics
11Larry HughesPistons
12Ruben PattersonMagic
13Nazr MohammedMagic
14Ricky DavisRockets
15Rafer AlstonMagic
16Matt HarpringRockets
17Michael OlowokandiTimberwolves
18Raef LaFrentzRockets
19Robert TraylorBucks
20Brian SkinnerHawks
21Tyronn LueHornets
22Michael DickersonClippers
23Keon ClarkNuggets
24Rasho NesterovićSpurs
25Michael DoleacPacers
26Ansu SesayLakers
27Jerome JamesSonics
28Felipe LópezBulls
29Greg BucknerJazz

98 Draft FAQ

Michael Olowokandi was selected #1 overall by the L.A. Clippers. He went on to play 5 seasons there before leaving for Minnesota as a free agent and later finishing his career with Boston. In his rookie season of 98-99, Okowokandi averaged 8.9 PPG and 7.9 RPG to go along with 1.2 BPG.

By any objective measure, Dirk Nowitzki was the best player of the 98 draft class. However, two other players who have supporters for this mantle are Vince Carter and Paul Pierce. Carter because of his legendary highlights and Pierce for his championship role with the storied Boston Celtics franchise.

Although Dirk Nowitzki became the most successful player in the draft class, Vince Carter was the most culturally influential player through the prism of popular culture. His highlight dunks captivated audiences and became part of NBA folklore for fans of the era. He also inspired the next-generation of Canadian-born basketball players which has grown significantly since his emergence.

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Draft Sleepers in 1998

1) Cuttino Mobley

Selected 8th in the 2020 redraft, Mobley outperformed his 41st overall selection in the 98 draft by a landslide. He became a productive starter almost instantly and averaged 16 PPG for his entire 11-year career which was only cut short because of a health condition. 

2) Rashard Lewis

Lewis who fell to the 2nd round in 98 (32nd overall) was drafted 6th overall in our 2020 redraft. Lewis could arguably have gone as high 4th in the redraft depending on your style of play and positional needs. Lewis played 16 seasons with 4 different teams, reached the finals twice, and was selected to two all-star games. 

3) Al Harrington

Much like Lewis, Harrington entered the draft straight from high school which probably lowered his stock despite being projected by scouts as one of the top talents in the class. Harrington went on to develop that talent and become a productive NBA player for 16 seasons and with 7 different teams.

Best Player in 1998 NBA Draft

1) Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki went on to be a 14-time All-Star, 1-time League MVP, 1-time NBA Champion, and 1-time Finals MVP. He was named to 12 All-NBA teams and is 6th all-time in scoring.

2) Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce played his way to 10 All-Star selections, 1 NBA Finals, and 1 NBA Finals MVP. He was named to 4 All-NBA teams and joined only Larry Bird and John Havlicek as Celtics to score over 20,000 points.

3) Vince Carter

The most culturally influential player of the draft went on to become the greatest dunker in NBA history. His legacy was cemented in the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest where he defeated his cousin Tracy McGrady, along with Steve Francis and others in the greatest All-Star weekend performance in league history. Carter was awarded Rookie of The Year in 1999 and later made 8 All-Star teams and 2 All-NBA teams. The class of 98 is now often referred to as: the Vince Carter draft class.

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