Here's every ACC team's history in the NBA Draft: Top-5 picks, lottery selections and more
The NBA Draft is on Thursday night, and several former ACC stars are expected to join the ranks of the NBA.
At least 4 former ACC players are expected to go in the first round: Duke’s Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin and Mark Williams are all potential lottery picks. Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley is, too.
Then there’s Wake Forest’s Jake LaRavia, who could be in play in the last part of the first round. His teammate, Alondes Williams, is a projected 2nd round pick.
Those are just some of the players who hope to add to the ACC’s illustrious history with the NBA. Let’s take a look at some of the ACC’s previous legends and how they fared at the highest level.
Here’s every ACC team’s most recent top-5, lottery and 1st round selection in the NBA Draft:
Note: “Lottery pick” is defined as any player taken in the top 14 of any draft.
Top 5: Terry Driscoll (No. 4 overall in 1969)
Lottery: Jerome Robinson (No. 13 overall in 2018)
1st round: Jerome Robinson (No. 13 overall in 2018)
Robinson has struggled to make it in the NBA, but being a lottery pick in the loaded 2018 draft is no small feat. Boston College has also produced Jared Dudley and Reggie Jackson in recent years.
Top 5: Never
Lottery: Sharone Wright (No. 6 overall in 1994)
1st round: Trevor Booker (No. 23 overall in 2010)
One of only 2 ACC teams without a top-5 pick, Clemson has never really been known for its basketball. Its most notable alumni are Horace Grant and Harvey Grant, who played a combined 30 seasons in the NBA. Larry Nance Sr. — whose son, Pete, recently transferred to North Carolina, also went to Clemson.
Top 5: Zion Williamson (No. 1 overall in 2019)
Lottery: Zion Williamson (No. 1 overall in 2019)
1st round: Jalen Johnson (No. 20 overall in 2020)
Williamson is the most recent of numerous top-5 NBA Draft picks to come through Durham. Paolo Banchero will almost certainly join those ranks on Thursday night. AJ Griffin and Mark Williams could become the latest lottery pick, too. Wendell Moore Jr. is also a candidate to be picked in the first round.
Top 5: Scottie Barnes (No. 4 overall in 2021)
Lottery: Scottie Barnes (No. 4 overall in 2021)
1st round: Scottie Barnes (No. 4 overall in 2021)
A clean sweep for Barnes, who went No. 4 overall in last year’s draft and then exceeded expectations by winning Rookie of the Year. Patrick Williams, Devin Vassell and Jonathan Isaac also went in the lottery in recent drafts.
Top 5: Derrick Favors (No. 3 overall in 2010)
Lottery: Derrick Favors (No. 3 overall in 2010)
1st: round: Josh Okogie (No. 20 overall in 2018)
Favors is on the back end of a solid NBA career. Perhaps slightly disappointing for the No. 3 overall pick, but Favors has been a dependable NBA center for over a decade now. Okogie is still trying to establish himself as an NBA regular.
Top 5: Pervis Ellison (No. 1 overall in 1989)
Lottery: Donovan Mitchell (No. 13 overall in 2017)
1st round: Donovan Mitchell (No. 13 overall in 2017)
Mitchell is Louisville’s most recent lottery pick and a bonafide super star. He’s one of the best guards in the NBA and is on an All-NBA trajectory in Utah. It’s a bit surprising, though, that Louisville hasn’t produced a top-5 pick since 1989. The Cardinals also don’t have a top-10 pick since 1996 (Samaki Walker)
Top 5: Rick Barry (No. 2 overall in 1965)
Lottery: Rick Barry (No. 2 overall in 1965)
1st round: Lonnie Walker (No. 18 overall in 2018)
Miami has produced some recent first-rounders like Walker and Shane Larkin, but the cupboard is largely bare. Barry is by far the oldest player to make this list, having gone No. 2 overall in 1965.
Top 5: Chris Washburn (No. 3 overall in 1986)
Lottery: Dennis Smith Jr. (No. 9 overall in 2017)
1st round: Dennis Smith Jr. (No. 9 overall in 2017)
For all the trouble his recruitment caused, Smith’s presence in the top-10 of the 2017 NBA Draft is a nice consolation prize for the Wolfpack. He’s their only top-10 pick since Tom Gugliotta in 1992.
Top 5: Marvin Williams (No. 2 overall in 2005)
Lottery: Coby White (No. 7 overall in 2019)
1st round: Day’Ron Sharpe (No. 29 overall in 2021)
The Tar Heels have had plenty of lottery talents over the past 2 decades, but not much in the way of top-5 picks. Williams was the last one, and that was 17 years ago. But White, Cam Johnson, Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Ed Davis, Tyler Hansbrough and Brandan Wright have all gone in the lottery since then.
Top 5: LaPhonso Ellis (No. 5 overall in 1992)
Lottery: Troy Murphy (No. 14 overall in 2001)
1st round: Jerian Grant (No. 19 overall in 2015)
Notre Dame will be one of the teams who gets an update on Thursday night, as Blake Wesley is expected to go in the 1st round. He’ll replace Jerian Grant as the program’s most recent 1st-rounder.
Top 5: Charles Daniel Smith (No. 3 overall in 1988)
Lottery: Steven Adams (No. 12 overall in 2013)
1st round: Steven Adams (No. 12 overall in 2013)
It’s been mostly bleak for Pitt in the NBA Draft, but Adams has become an above-average NBA center. He is the Panthers’ only 1st round pick of the 21st century.
Top 5: Dion Waiters (No. 4 overall in 2012)
Lottery: Michael Carter Williams (No. 11 overall in 2013)
1st round: Tyler Lydon (No. 24 overall in 2017)
The Orange haven’t produced a 1st rounder since 2017, and that isn’t likely to change this season. But the history is there — Carter Williams won Rookie of the Year in 2014 and Syracuse has also produced other NBA difference-makers like Carmelo Anthony and Jerami Grant.
Top 5: De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 overall in 2019)
Lottery: De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 overall in 2019)
1st round: Trey Murphy III (No. 17 overall in 2021)
The Cavaliers are on a great run with the NBA Draft. They likely won’t add to it in 2022, but Hunter and Murphy look like they’ll be longtime role players in the NBA. The same goes for players like Malcolm Brogdon, Joe Harris and possibly Ty Jerome.
Top 5: N/A
1st round: Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17 overall in 2019)
Virginia Tech is the only ACC program to never produce a lottery pick. The Hokies came close in 1986, when Dell Curry went No. 15 overall. Curry and Alexander-Walker are the only first-round picks in program history.
Top 5: Chris Paul (No. 4 overall in 2005)
Lottery: Al-Farouq Aminu (No. 8 overall in 2010)
1st round: John Collins (No. 19 overall in 2017)
Chris Paul is the big name here, but Wake Forest has had quite a bit of quality NBA Draft production. Aminu carved out a solid NBA career and Collins is a borderline All-Star early in his career. The Demon Deacons have also produced players like Josh Howard, Jeff Teague and, of course, Tim Duncan.