There was little to no depth present in the 1997 NBA Draft class, but some of the top players are going to be Hall-of-Famers.
The 1997 NBA Draft took place in Charlotte, NC, (at the home of the Hornets before they relocated for the first time) on Wednesday June 25, 1997. At the conclusion of the 1996-97 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls were in the midst of winning their fifth of six titles throughout this decade. The star trio of Hall-of-Famers that included big man Dennis Rodman, forward Scottie Pippen, and shooting guard Michael Jordan were running the NBA at the time.
But those three were also at the end of their run of dominance in the 1990’s during the season following the 1997 NBA Draft. And this would be the draft that would usher in the next era of NBA Champions. The San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons (although he was drafted by the Boston Celtics originally) would get primary pieces of some title squads in the 1990’s and 2000’s starting in 1997.
This was yet another solid draft class at the top sandwiched amid a number of good classes in the late 1990’s. The 1998 NBA Draft was also very good, featuring top flight players such as shooting guard Vince Carter and forward Dirk Nowitzki. And the 1996 NBA Draft had game changers too such as point guard Allen Iverson and shooting guard Ray Allen.
But there was not much depth present in this class, similar to our last re-draft of the 2006 class. It is a more difficult task to sort through and find the hidden gems. Granted even the “hidden gems” in this class had a lot of flaws.
As always, though, there were players in this draft class that were considered complete busts. But there isn’t a passing draft class where that isn’t a normality in the lottery, at least it’s not usual for that to happen.
Here’s a look into the re-do of the 1997 NBA Draft lottery picks more than 20 years after the fact, and now with everyone from that rookie class officially retired.