Marvin Barnes led the list of names in the post-Walton round of the National Basketball Association's collegiate draft yesterday, as the 6 ft. 9 in. Providence College center was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 76ers, who finished with the worst record in the league, lost the coin toss for the first draft choice to the Portland Trailblazers, and to no one's surprise, Portland took the highly sought-after Bill Walton of UCLA. The Trailblazers actually have already signed the Briun kingpin to a five-year contract for more than $2 million.
Philly hesitated before choosing the burly Barnes, who was recently convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon on one of his Providence teammates, in hopes of nabbing the 1974 NCAA player-of-the-year, David Thompson, from North Carolina State's national champions. But the bid was rejected by Thompson, who intends to remain with the Wolfpack next year.
Seattle, which acquired the third pick from Cleveland in a deal that sent veteran guard Dick Snyder to the Cavaliers, chose N.C. State's 7 ft. 4 in. Tom Burleson. Burleson was the leading rebounder on the squad last season.
Phoenix continued the trend of picking the big men, selecting John Shumate, the 6 ft. 9 in. Notre Dame star. Shumate passed up his final year of collegiate eligibility to become a pro. Houston nabbed Bobby Jones of North Carolina and Kansas City-Omaha took another tall one in 6 ft. 7 in. Scott Wedman of Colorado.
Only three guards went among the 18 first-round picks. Tom Henderson of Hawaii went to Atlanta, Brian Winters of South Carolina was tabbed by Los Angeles and hardship case Gary Brokaw of Notre Dame was the last selection in the round, going to Milwaukee.
Cleveland, choosing eighth instead of third because of the Snyder trade, grabbed Campy Russell, another of the 13 players on the hardship list, from Michigan.