ABA 1970 secret draft? / Dan Issel

ABA-related discussions

Moderator: Brett

ABA 1970 secret draft? / Dan Issel

Postby Frank Marousek » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:35 pm

Most modern reference sources indicate that Dan Issel was a draft pick of the Kentucky Colonels in the 1970 ABA draft.

This morning I came across an AP article that mentions that the Colonels paid the Chaparrals $25K for negotiation rights to Dan Issel, who had been selected by the Chaps in a "secret draft" conducted by the ABA.

Here is a link to the article in Google News archives:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=kUoNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CG0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5389,122229&dq=draft&hl=en

This is the first I've read/heard about such a draft. Is it something that is commonly acknowledged? Anyone have any more information?
Frank Marousek
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:44 pm
Location: Barrington, IL

Postby rlee » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:13 pm

Basketball Weekly 2/9/70 lists the selections made in the first two rounds of the ABA draft & states "The first round was basically a bonus round with selections based on geographic ties and the probability that a team could sign a player rather than on a team's position in the standings.

"Cowens was originally drafted by Miami but rights to him went to L.A. in a deal involving Simmie Hill. Issel was drafted by Dallas but was sold to Kentucky for a reported $25,000."

The draftees are listed as follows:

1st rd: LA - Cowens, Indy - Mount, Mia - Hummer, Carlina - Maravich, Pgh - Maloy, Ky - Issel, NY - Lanier, New Orleans - Lacey, Den - Haywood, Dallas - Croft, Wash - C. Scott

2nd rd: LA - McMillian, Indy - Awtrey, Mia - Sam Robinson, Carlina - Leinhard, Pgh - C Murphy, Ky - Virden, NY - Petrie, N.O.- Ladner, Den - Vallely, Dallas - Emanuel Cannon, Wash - Greg Howard
rlee
President
 
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:42 pm
Location: sacramento

Postby MCT » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:10 am

The secret ABA Draft held in January 1970 was simply the first two rounds of that year's ABA Draft. The ABA was frustrated that it had signed few blue-chip prospects in its first three years of competition with the NBA, so it moved up the first two rounds of the draft to give itself a head start on negotiating with players. The draft was apparently supposed to be "secret" so the NBA wouldn't know which players the ABA was targeting (this wasn't the only time the ABA tried this ploy). The results were leaked to the press fairly quickly, however.

The ABA's strategy worked pretty well. They were able to sign five of their first-round picks (Mount, Issel, Maloy, Croft and Scott), and at least a couple of the second-rounders as well. Note that this doesn't count Spencer Haywood, as he had already played for Denver during the 1969-70 season. Denver didn't really draft him in 1970, but had previously signed him in lieu of its 1970 1st round pick.

I notice that the article Frank linked to indicates that a four-round draft was held, but I've only ever heard that two rounds were conducted. Given its secret nature, there may have initially been some confusion over the details of the draft.

rlee wrote:Basketball Weekly 2/9/70 lists the selections made in the first two rounds of the ABA draft & states "The first round was basically a bonus round with selections based on geographic ties and the probability that a team could sign a player rather than on a team's position in the standings.

"Cowens was originally drafted by Miami but rights to him went to L.A. in a deal involving Simmie Hill. Issel was drafted by Dallas but was sold to Kentucky for a reported $25,000."

The draftees are listed as follows:

1st rd: LA - Cowens, Indy - Mount, Mia - Hummer, Carlina - Maravich, Pgh - Maloy, Ky - Issel, NY - Lanier, New Orleans - Lacey, Den - Haywood, Dallas - Croft, Wash - C. Scott

2nd rd: LA - McMillian, Indy - Awtrey, Mia - Sam Robinson, Carlina - Leinhard, Pgh - C Murphy, Ky - Virden, NY - Petrie, N.O.- Ladner, Den - Vallely, Dallas - Emanuel Cannon, Wash - Greg Howard

I'm not sure what to make of the discrepancy in who drafted Issel. I notice that the list above doesn't show Kentucky ending up with two first-round picks and Dallas with none, as one would expect if Issel's rights were traded. Instead, it shows each team with one pick. Unless there's more to the story, that doesn't make any sense. Did Kentucky draft Croft and trade him to Dallas in a separate deal from the Issel transaction? Was the Issel transaction a trade of his rights, or merely an agreement for Dallas to not draft him? (If there was supposed to be a geographic element to the first round, why on earth would he have been assigned to Dallas rather than Kentucky in the first place?) Given the secret nature of the draft, it might be hard to definitively determine what really happened.

FWIW, the ABA Guide had a section that included draft lists. They list Issel under Kentucky. So whatever actually happened behind closed doors, the ABA seems to have officially considered Issel to be a Kentucky pick.
MCT
 
Posts: 950
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm

Postby MCT » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:24 am

The draftees are listed as follows:

1st rd: LA - Cowens, Indy - Mount, Mia - Hummer, Carlina - Maravich, Pgh - Maloy, Ky - Issel, NY - Lanier, New Orleans - Lacey, Den - Haywood, Dallas - Croft, Wash - C. Scott

2nd rd: LA - McMillian, Indy - Awtrey, Mia - Sam Robinson, Carlina - Leinhard, Pgh - C Murphy, Ky - Virden, NY - Petrie, N.O.- Ladner, Den - Vallely, Dallas - Emanuel Cannon, Wash - Greg Howard

Just to add to the confusion, if you look in the section of the NBA Guide that lists each team's historical first-round picks, you will see that it shows Nate Archibald as the Spurs/Chaps franchise's first-round pick in 1970. I believe that this information is incorrect, even though it's been in the NBA Guide for years.

Up through 1972, the ABA did not report its draft in any kind of sequential order. Instead, draft picks were reported team-by-team in blocks of five rounds -- "First Five Rounds", "Second Five Rounds", etc. -- with players within each block listed alphabetically. This was another instance of the ABA being secretive about its draft; they didn't want either the NBA or the players themselves to know exactly what order the players were selected in, so they wouldn't know what level of priority each player was to the ABA.

In 1970, Archibald was first alphabetically among players Dallas drafted in the first five rounds. I suspect he came to be listed as the Spurs/Chaps' first-round pick in the NBA Guide when someone looked at a Dallas draft list, didn't know the players were listed alphabetically, saw Archibald listed first, and incorrectly took that to mean he was drafted first.

In each draft from 1967 to 1970, the player listed as the Spurs franchise's first-round pick is the player who is listed first alphabetically among Dallas' "First Five Rounds" picks in the ABA Guide. It's possible that the other years are all wrong, too, but I haven't researched them. (On the other hand, isn't there a story that one ABA team conducted its 1967 draft in alphabetical order, due to the person making the selections mistakenly believing that an alphabetical list of players the team was interested in had the players listed in order of priority? I can't remember which team that was.)
MCT
 
Posts: 950
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm

Postby rlee » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:33 pm

AP Story of 3/24/70

DALLAS, Tex. (AP) - Two
American Basketball Association
teams scrapping for graduating
collegiate stars—Dallas
and Kentucky—are now battling
among themselves over 6-foot-10
Bob Croft of Tennessee,
Kentucky says it has signed
Croft. Dallas, which owns the
draft rights to him, says its
news to the Chaparrals and if
it's true the Colonels are going
to pay dearly.
The Croft case all started
when Dallas traded its No. 1
original draft choice—Dan Issel
of Kentucky—to the Colonels for
$25,000 and their No. 1 draft
choice. Dallas used that choice
to pick Croft.
To keep Croft away from the
National Basketball Association,
Dallas gave the ABA permission
to sign him to a league contract.
Lee Meade, assistant general
manager, said "If it's true Kentucky
has signed Croft, you
might say we are more than a
little miffed."
Meade said it was willing to
give up Croft to the Colonels but
it wanted proper compensation.
"We wouldn't mind having
Gene Moore, for example," said
Meade.
Moore is Kentucky's starting
center. He was on the All-Star
team. The 6-foot-9 Moore is
ninth in rebounding and 21st in
scoring in the league.
Max Williams, general manager
and head coach, was quoted
as saying "I know Kentucky
talked with Croft last year before
our draft. He's a top draft
choice so I expect a top player
in return. I don't want any
other Kentucky draftees."
Williams said "I do not want
to void the trade and take Issel
because I really wouldn't want
to pick up IsseVs contract."
Issel was signed by the Colonels
for a reported $1.4 million.
Kentucky announced Tuesday
night it had obtained the rights
to Croft in the same deal that
brought Issel to the Colonels.
Meade said "We own the
rights to Croft."
rlee
President
 
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:42 pm
Location: sacramento

Postby Frank Marousek » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:29 pm

MCT wrote:Up through 1972, the ABA did not report its draft in any kind of sequential order. Instead, draft picks were reported team-by-team in blocks of five rounds -- "First Five Rounds", "Second Five Rounds", etc. -- with players within each block listed alphabetically. ... In 1970, Archibald was first alphabetically among players Dallas drafted in the first five rounds. I suspect he came to be listed as the Spurs/Chaps' first-round pick in the NBA Guide when someone looked at a Dallas draft list, didn't know the players were listed alphabetically, saw Archibald listed first, and incorrectly took that to mean he was drafted first.

Here's an article I came across claiming to have the order of selection of the 1970 ABA draft for the first three rounds (scroll down a bit-- the ABA draft picks are listed underneath the NBA picks).

And you are correct, Patrick, that Nate Archibald's name does not appear among the picks in the first three rounds, indicating to me that he must have been a fourth or fifth round pick.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ww ... raft&hl=en
Frank Marousek
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:44 pm
Location: Barrington, IL

Postby MCT » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:52 pm

MCT wrote:Given the secret nature of the draft, it might be hard to definitively determine what really happened.

From the story that Ray posted, it sounds like the Colonels and Chaps couldn't even agree on which team drafted which players.

Two notes on the draft article that Frank posted the link to:

--The story on the NBA draft refers to the draft as having gone 10 rounds and 170 picks. Most reference sources show it going much longer than that, however (b-r.com shows 19 rounds, 239 picks). The explanation is that the rounds up to the 10th round were the main body of the draft, while the rounds beyond that were conducted after the fact through the "supplementary draft" process that we discussed a while back (see http://www.apbr.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2555).

--Looking at the list of players identified as third round picks in the ABA Draft, I see a few players who ended up in the ABA, and were drafted much higher by the ABA than they were by the NBA. The most notable are George Irvine, who was an 8th rounder in the NBA Draft, and Joe Hamilton, who wasn’t taken by the NBA until the 9th round. That they were picked so much higher by the ABA makes me wonder if these guys had already been signed to contracts by the ABA teams that drafted them (or had at least been negotiating with them and were felt to be leaning towards the ABA). Just as the ABA had tried to get ahead of the NBA by conducting the first two rounds of its draft early, it makes sense that they might have allowed teams to negotiate with/sign an additional player, as long as it was understood that the team had to use its 3rd round pick on that player if it signed him or wanted to continue negotiating with him.
MCT
 
Posts: 950
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:41 pm


Return to The ABA

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron