Depressing, isn’t it? You may have already been over the worst-case-scenario, but seriously: the Bulls received a pair of “strong” offers for the NBA draft pick used on Michael Jordan, one of which would have paired Jordan with a trio of future Hall of Famers.
As the NBA Draft Lottery turned into the Bulls’ night, they received numerous “strong” offers for the No. 2 pick used to draft Michael Jordan, one of which would have produced a “dream team” that could have sent Chicago into the NBA Finals for the third time in four years. The Bulls received two “strong” offers for the No. 2 pick as they were about to begin their lottery night.
If the Bulls make it to the NBA Playoffs, the team will have a tough out thanks to a series of trades that saw their roster take shape over the past year. It all started with the acquisition of Michael Jordan in exchange for the sixth overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. The rest of the pieces in place were built over time and the result is a foundation that includes Tracy McGrady, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah.
On June 19, 1984, the Chicago Bulls selected Michael Jordan with the third overall selection in the NBA draft, permanently changing the destiny of the organization. Jordan earned five NBA MVP awards, was a 10-time scoring champion, an 11-time All-NBA selection, and a nine-time All-Defensive selection while leading the Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s. He was also a 10-time scoring champion, an 11-time All-NBA selection, and a nine-time All-Defensive pick. In a nutshell, the man was excellent.
Consider Jordan performing the same thing in a different outfit. No, I’m not referring to his Washington Wizards outfit, which many people claim he never wore. But what about the 76ers of Philadelphia or the Mavericks of Dallas? And why those two, you may wonder. Because both reportedly made “strong” trade offers to the Bulls prior to the 1984 draft, knowing Jordan would still be available at No. 3.
Former Bulls general manager Rod Thorn claims the 76ers and Mavericks made’strong’ proposals to move up to get Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA draft.
The Houston Rockets held the top choice in the 1984 NBA draft, and everyone expected them to choose Hakeem Olajuwon of the University of Houston. And it was clearly the correct decision, as he went on to become one of the best centers in NBA history, leading the Rockets to two championships.
The Blazers had the No. 2 pick, and since they were set at shooting guard after selecting Clyde Drexler the year before, it was expected that they would choose Kentucky big man Sam Bowie, which they did. So it’s reasonable to assume that most clubs were aware that Jordan would still be available at No. 3, the Bulls’ selection. Jordan had just completed his second straight All-American season at North Carolina, as well as winning the ACC Player of the Year award.
He was a highly sought-after talent, according to then-Bulls GM Rod Thorn, who claims he had several offers from clubs interested in trading up to pick the future Hall of Famer, two of which were better than the others.
“Philadelphia had offered Michael a solid offer. Michael had received a substantial offer from Dallas.
“A number of other clubs had asked about the selection; their bids weren’t as good as those two, but there were definitely people interested in Michael.”
Rod Thorn, the former general manager of the Chicago Bulls, was on several teams seeking to trade up for Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA draft.
Unfortunately, Thorn did not disclose the details of the offers. The Mavericks selected Sam Perkins, Jordan’s UNC teammate, at No. 4, while the Sixers selected Charles Barkley, MJ’s future Dream Team partner, at No. 5.
Let’s suppose for a moment that Thorn had accepted one of those “strong” offers.
Jordan may have been able to help the Mavericks beat the Lakers in the Western Conference finals.
Michael Jordan, around 1984 | WireImage/Tom Berg
The Mavericks were coming off a 43-39 season and their first-ever playoff appearance when they entered the 1984 draft. Because of a deal they made with the Cleveland Cavaliers before to their first season in 1980, they had such a high draft selection. So Jordan would have been into a good position, partnering with Mark Aguirre, who averaged 29.5 points per game in 1983-84.
As part of the trade, the Mavs would have certainly sent shooting guard Rolando Blackman to Chicago, and Blackman wasn’t exactly a slouch, as he was coming off a season in which he averaged 22.4 points per game. So the Bulls would have acquired a good scorer in the draft, most likely Perkins or Barkley. Although Blackman was not Michael Jordan, he was a four-time NBA All-Star who averaged 18 points per game throughout his career.
Dallas also possessed Derek Harper, Jay Vincent, Brad Davis, and sniper Dale Ellis at the time, in addition to Aguirre. Following the 1984 draft, the Mavs earned four straight playoff appearances, including a seven-game series against Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers in the 1987 Western Conference Finals. So Jordan had a good opportunity of putting them over the top.
With the 76ers, MJ might have joined up with three future Hall of Famers.
Let’s suppose the 76ers made a deal to get Jordan at No. 3 overall. The Sixers, like the Mavericks, had reached the playoffs prior to the 1984 draft. And they had such a high selection because of a 1978 deal with the Clippers, who came close to acquiring Jordan a few years later.
Jordan could have joined up with three future Hall of Famers if he had chosen the Sixers at No. 3: Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, and, of course, Julius Erving. It would have been fascinating to watch MJ and Dr. J play together since MJ was regarded as the second coming of Dr. J. Of course, there’s always the chance that Erving, Cheeks, or Malone were sent to Chicago.
The 76ers reached the Eastern Conference Finals without Jordan in 1984-85, but were defeated in five games by the Boston Celtics. Consider what would have happened if Michael Jordan, who averaged 28.2 points per game as a rookie, had been on the team. He’ll almost certainly play in his first NBA Finals much sooner than he did with the Bulls.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
In 1996, Michael Jordan signed a contract with the New York Knicks.
In 1991, the Bulls drafted Michael Jordan with the first overall pick. In addition to the obvious benefits of his basketball abilities, teams could not pass up on the star player’s marketability. He was a media sensation and was making enough money to purchase a mansion across the street from his childhood home. With the Bulls having a poor record and a young star on their hands, Jordan could have commanded a large sum of money.. Read more about when is the nba draft and let us know what you think.
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