1967 NBA Draft: Seattle Supersonics Pick Review

PHOTO BY SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

The Sonics selected three collegiate players in their first ever NBA draft.

On May 3, 1967 the 21st annual NBA draft was held. The Seattle Supersonics and the San Diego Rockets held their expansion just two days earlier were going to be picking their first picks from college in this draft. The Sonics and Rockets were assigned the sixth and seventh respectively.

Some notable players from this draft include Earl Monroe, Walt Frazier, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson and Seattle's own Tom Workman.

Seattle had three selections in this draft.

Name: Al Tucker
School:
Oklahoma Baptist
Pick:
First Round, 6th overall

Breakdown: Al Tucker will forever be known as Seattle's first ever, official draft pick. Tucker and his brother Gerald are credited with being the inventors of the alley-oop.

Tucker was a 6'8" power forward from Oklahoma Baptist University. Not only was he drafted by the Sonics in the NBA draft, he was also drafted by the Oakland Oaks of the ABA.

Tucker had a lot of athletic promise and some hype to go with him. In his brief time with the Sonics Tucker was a decent, young player for us A lot of NBA players today would be happy with a 13-8 type performance night in and night out.

His best modern comparison in regards to win share is actually Reggie Evans. Not a bad tie in for the original Sonic.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

81

29.2

5.4

12.2

.442

2.3

3.2

.707

7.5

1.4

3.2

13.1

1968-69

56

22.4

4.3

9.6

.446

1.9

2.9

.648

5.2

0.9

2.2

10.5

Sonics Career

137

25.8

4.8

10.9

.444

2.1

3.1

.679

6.3

1.1

2.7

11.8

At the end of the 67-68 season Tucker was named to the NBA All-Rookie team.

In the middle of the 1969 season Tucker was traded to the Cincinnati Royals for John Tresvant. The trade was basically a wash as Tresvant came in and posted basically identical numbers as Tucker.

After bouncing around with a few more teams (Bulls and Bullets), Tucker ended up with the Floridians of the ABA as his final stop in the league. Tucker would not play beyond the end of the 1972 season.

A huge mess up by Basketball Reference, according to them, Tucker was waived by the Milwaukee Bucks on October 27, 2012. Pretty sure they were talking about Alando Tucker.

Grade: C

Name: Bob Rule
School:
Colorado State
Pick:
Second Round, 19th overall

Breakdown: This pick could not have worked out any better for the Sonics. They drafted Rule at the end of the second round to be their anchoring big man and that is exactly what he did. He was very close to averaging 20-10 his rookie year, an accomplishment only done by a handful of people (Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, Patrick Ewing, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Walt Bellamy and Sidney Wicks).

In his first three seasons Rule was dominant, averaging over 20-10 night in and night out. Was an All-Star in 1970, should have also been in 1969, joined fellow Sonic, Al Tucker, on the All-NBA Rookie First team.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

82

29.6

6.9

14.2

.489

4.2

6.5

.658

9.5

1.2

3.9

18.1

1968-69

82

37.9

9.5

20.2

.469

5.0

7.4

.658

11.5

1.7

3.9

24.0

1969-70

80

37.0

9.9

21.3

.463

4.8

6.8

.682

10.3

1.8

3.5

24.6

1970-71

4

35.5

11.8

24.5

.480

6.3

7.5

.833

11.5

1.8

3.5

29.8

1971-72

16

15.2

2.8

7.8

.363

1.4

2.7

.675

7.0

1.5

2.5

15.1

Sonics Career

264

34.8

8.8

18.6

.472

4.7

6.9

.687

10.4

1.6

3.8

22.3

The "Golden" Rule was well on his way to becoming a major star in the NBA. You should probably read the next line in the voice of the narrator from behind the music. All that changed on October 23, 1970. Rule had 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Portland Trailblazers when it happened.

That night Rule tore his Achilles tendon and his career was never the same. He lost his explosiveness that allowed him to get by the more plodding centers in the league. You could tell it also affected his confidence.

Rule was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers just sixteen games into the 1972 season. Seattle received a second round pick that would ultimately end up being Joby Wright in return.

Grade: A

Name: Plummer Lott
School:
Seattle University
Pick:
Fifth Round, 54th overall

Breakdown: Lott was a local star at Seattle University and was technically a territorial pick for the Sonics. Lott was never a star for the Sonics, never had huge numbers because he couldn't really make a basket (shot under 30% from the field for is brief career). In a "what could have been" moment, according to some advanced stats, Lott could have been an 11 ppg and 10 rpg per 48 minutes.

That's not bad.

Season

G

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

TRB

AST

PF

PPG

1967-68

44

10.9

1.0

3.4

.311

0.4

0.7

.613

2.1

0.8

1.5

2.5

1968-69

23

7.0

0.7

2.9

.258

0.1

0.2

.400

1.3

0.3

0.4

1.6

Sonics Career

67

9.5

0.9

3.2

.294

0.3

0.5

.583

1.8

0.6

1.1

2.2

Where Lott really stands out though is the fact that after two years of basketball he went back to school, got his law degree and now sits on the bench of the New York State Supreme Court.

His most famous case involved the fraud case of David Hampton. Hampton posed as Sidney Poitier's son, David. The case lead to the play Six Degrees of Separation, which also became a film in 1994.

Grade: D - for NBA contributions, A - for winning at life.

Final Verdict: With the players that were available in the draft, the Sonics did extremely well. Tucker was a safe pick for the year and a half that he was in Seattle. Seattle was golden with Bob Rule selection. Lott was a solid territorial pick because he was probably the best at the time in the Seattle college ranks.

Overall I give this class a solid C+. If there was no Bob Rule, we'd be looking at a D.

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