There are two rounds. In 1974, the NBA began to modernize the draft by establishing a fixed number of rounds (10) to fit the league's 18 clubs. The number of rounds was then lowered to seven in 1985, three in 1988, and two in 1989, which is where it is now. The first round lasted for three days in 1973 and 1974 (16 picks total), the second round lasted for two days in 1975 and 1978 (20 picks total), and the third round lasted for one day in 1976 (30 picks total).
In addition, the draft used to be held in mid-June but was moved up a week in 2001. It is now held on June 25th through 26th at the Orlando Magic's headquarters in Orlando, Florida.
NBA teams have the option not to select players in the first two rounds of the draft. These "free agents" can then talk with other teams about playing time or even join another team when their original contract expires.
However, none of these options are likely to be taken seriously by young players looking to make an immediate impact in the NBA. The majority will choose to test out their skills in Europe or in the D-League (now known as the G-League) while others may end up staying in college for one more season.
Since the draft started being televised in 1979, almost every year has had at least one player become a star overnight.
Prior to the 1989 NBA draft, there were more than two rounds. Following 1989, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed to limit selections to two rounds. Teams can also trade their picks, thus a team may have more than or fewer than two picks certain years.
In 1983, 1987, and 2001, the Lakers did not have a first or second-round draft choice. The Lakers have traded away some of their choices as well as traded for picks from other clubs over the years.
1970. When the NFL drafted as a single league, the number of rounds was finally decreased to 12. The first four rounds consisted of two-minute drills while the final eight were for position players only.
In 1969, there had been a total of 24 picks in the draft. In 1968, there were 30 selections. In 1967, there were 37 choices.
The number of teams has changed over time. There have been 10 leagues that have played professional football since its inception in 1920. Currently, there are 32 teams in the NFL. This is the most recent season completed before the start of the lockout that cancelled all training camps and pre-season games.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the current champion of the NFL and will play the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLV on February 3rd at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This is their second title fight in three years after they defeated the Green Bay Packers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVIL. The last time we saw this pair of teams go at it was in the 2006 NFC Championship Game when the Giants won 23-20 at home field advantage to advance to their third straight Super Bowl appearance.
Then, in 1984, the NBA enlarged its playoff field from 12 to 16 teams, with each club playing in the first round. All first-round games were best-of-five series, with teams needing to win three games to progress. Later, NBA Playoff Seedings Change Again.
Here is the entire history of number one NBA Draft choices from the league's inception in 1947. Total number of drafts: 73 * The NBA was formally known as the BAA from 1947 to 1949. Before that, it was called the Basketball Association of America (BAA).
Number one selections are shown in bold.
* Includes pick used to select Bill Russell first overall but not final two picks who were traded away
There were only six number one selections over the course of the first 73 NBA Drafts. The most number ones selected in a single draft was nine by the Boston Celtics in 1954. The fewest number ones selected in a single draft was two by the St. Louis Hawks in 1951 and 1952.
In 1957 the NBA introduced the concept of moving up in the draft to acquire more high-quality players. Over time this became very common practice among NBA teams. In fact, today almost all NBA picks are considered valuable trade assets because they are picked so late in the draft process.
Number one picks have helped build some of the best basketball franchises in NBA history.