The Washington Bullets' trade for Moses Malone was just one story in a surprising NBA draft whose effects extended to Greece and the Soviet Union.
Perhaps satisfied with their acquisition of Jeff Ruland and Cliff Robinson from the Bullets in the Malone deal, the Philadelphia 76ers began the day by trading their No. 1 choice overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers for power forward Roy Hinson -- a talented three-year veteran -- and future considerations. Brad Daugherty, a center from North Carolina, was then selected by Cleveland.
With the No. 2 overall choice, the Boston Celtics chose forward Len Bias of Maryland, who was considered to be the best overall player in the draft. "They picked up a superstar in Len Bias," said Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry. "We tried to get him in the worst way."
To do that, Ferry said, the Bullets would have had to give up a significant portion of their franchise.
Several other proposed trades fell through.
On Monday, the Seattle SuperSonics -- one of two teams without a first-round pick -- reportedly were thinking of sending center Jack Sikma to Dallas for guard Rolando Blackman.
Late Monday, a proposed deal between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas that would have sent forward James Worthy to the Mavericks for forward Mark Aguirre and the No. 7 overall choice collapsed. The stumbling block reportedly was Aguirre's million-dollar-plus salary that would have put the Lakers over the salary cap.
The Lakers did complete another, although lesser, deal, sending guard Mike McGee and Ken Barlow, their first-round pick, to Atlanta in exchange for the Hawks' first- and second-round choices -- Louisville forward Billy Thompson and Kansas guard Ron Kellogg.
The draft surprises began with the No. 5 pick. The New York Knicks took forward Kenny Walker of Kentucky instead of center William Bedford of Memphis State, who went to Phoenix at No. 6. At No. 9, the Chicago Bulls had been expected to take guard Johnny Dawkins of Duke but instead selected forward Brad Sellers of Ohio State.
The next two teams, San Antonio and Detroit, were both in the market for power forwards. That perhaps began to sway the thinking of the Bullets on their No. 12 choice: whether to select Dawkins or John Williams.
But the Spurs ended the dilemma when they chose Dawkins as No. 10. The Pistons then took forward John Salley of Georgia Tech, who had a disappointing senior year.
St. John's forward Walter Berry, the 1985 college player of the year, received a jolt of sorts when he wasn't selected until No. 14, by the Portland Trail Blazers. Ten choices later, the Trail Blazers used the last pick in the first round to take 7-foot-2 center Arvidas Sobonis of the Soviet Union. In the second round, the team chose Panagiotis Fasoulas, from Greece.
Another surprise had a more provincial flavor. The Houston Rockets, in need of a point guard, instead selected forward Buck Johnson of Alabama as No. 20.