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
1998 NBA Draft Results
|4||Antawn Jamison||Raptors (Traded to GSW)|
|5||Vince Carter||Warriors (Traded to TOR)|
|6||Robert Traylor||Mavericks (Traded to MIL)|
|9||Dirk Nowitzki||Bucks (Traded to DAL)|
|19||Pat Garrity||Bucks (Traded to PHO)|
|23||Tyronn Lue||Nuggets (Traded to LAL)|
|24||Felipe López||Spurs (Traded to VAN)|
|29||Nazr Mohammed||Jazz (Traded to PHI)|
1998 NBA Redraft
98 Draft FAQ
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.
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.