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The 1985 NBA draft redone: Where does 'The Mailman' land?

Published: Friday, May 2 2014 12:20 a.m. MDT

Utah Jazz Karl Malone, left, loses control of the ball after trying to drive past Philadelphia 76ers Tim McCormick who broke up the play during the first quarter of NBA action from Philadelphia, Dec. 22, 1986. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (Charles Krupa, AP) Utah Jazz Karl Malone, left, loses control of the ball after trying to drive past Philadelphia 76ers Tim McCormick who broke up the play during the first quarter of NBA action from Philadelphia, Dec. 22, 1986. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (Charles Krupa, AP)

The 1985 draft was one of the deepest and most balanced of all time. There were contributors from the beginning of the draft to as far down as the 160th selection. The ’85 draft was 162 picks over seven rounds with the first round consisting of 24 picks. Of the 162 players selected, 66 of them played in the NBA, according to Basketball-Reference.com. Of those 66 players, Mario Elie (Round seven, 160th overall) was the player taken with the lowest pick to play in the league.

Even with all the talent available, there were still plenty of missed picks in the first round. The team that benefited the most was the Utah Jazz, which ended up with a franchise-building block and one of the best players in team history.

Note: even though Arvydas Sabonis was drafted in the fourth round of the ’85 draft, he isn’t included in this because he was also selected in the ’86 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and they were the team that retained his rights.

Jazz rookie Karl Malone goes up for a basket against Houston RocketŐs center Akeem Olajuwon at the regular-season home opener in the Salt Palace October 26, 1985. (, ) Jazz rookie Karl Malone goes up for a basket against Houston RocketŐs center Akeem Olajuwon at the regular-season home opener in the Salt Palace October 26, 1985. (, )

Here is a look at how the first-round 1985 draft would have gone if we knew then what we know now.

Jay Yeomans is a courier by day and a freelance writer by night. He is the creator and lead writer of the website jmoneysports.com. Contact him at jmoney34@hotmail.com. Twitter: @jmoneysports

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