|Draft:||First round, First overall|
Austin Carr (born March 10, 1948 in Washington D.C.) was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the expansion draft, from the Cleveland Cavaliers, prior to the team's inaugural season in 1980-1981.
Carr attended Notre Dame where he is still the Irish's all-time leading scorer with 2,560 points and a scoring average of 34.6 points per game.
John Tracy coached the Notre Dame freshman team when Carr arrived in South Bend. "I had warned the (varsity) guys even before we played them," Tracy said. "I told them 'You're not going to believe this guy. When he got here we were preparing for the season and the freshman team beat the varsity seven out of eight times. He was amazing."
At Notre Dame, Carr played in 74 games and scored 40 or more points 23 times. He was a three-year starter who averaged 22.0 ppg as a sophomore, 38.1 as a junior and 37.9 as a senior. He is the only Notre Dame player to ever score 50 or more points in a game, accomplishing the feat on nine separate occasions.
His former teammate with the Irish, and former member of the ABA's Dallas Chaparrals, Collis Jones said about Carr, "He was the first to practice and the last to leave. He practiced harder than anyone else."
Carr, an All-American his senior season, was voted the National Player of the Year by the Associated Press and United Press International in 1971. His footprints are all over the record books of the NCAA tournament where he ranks number one in tournament history with a 41.3 point scoring average. He also holds the tournament record for single game scoring with 61 points against Ohio State in 1970. Carr also has three of the six, 50+ point games in NCAA tournament history.
The Cleveland Cavaliers made Carr the number one overall selection of the 1971 NBA draft. In his rookie season he averaged 21 points per game and was named to the 1971-1972 all-rookie team.
In 1975-76, Carr (as the team's sixth man) led the Cavs to the NBA Central Division title and game six of the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Boston Celtics.
He played in all 82 games for Cleveland four times and was named to the 1974 NBA All-Star game. In 1980, Carr received the NBA's Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for community service.
Despite his years of success with the club, Cleveland exposed Carr to the 1980 NBA Expansion Draft used to provide players for the Dallas Mavericks franchise.
Expected to bring veteran leadership to his new team, Carr appeared in only eight games during his short stint in Dallas averaging 2.0 ppg and 1.3 assists per game. On November 6, 1980, he was traded to the Washington Bullets for future considerations.
Carr finished his NBA career in Washington playing 39 games and averaging 4.9 ppg and 1.3 apg. When the Bullets visited Cleveland on January 3, 1981 the Cavs retired Carr's number 34 jersey.
After retirement he was named to the Cavaliers' all-time team along with Nate Thurmond, Brad Daugherty, Shawn Kemp, Larry Nance and fellow Mavericks expansion pick "Bingo" Smith to celebrate the franchise's 30th anniversary.
"That honor really made me proud," Carr said about being named to the team. "It told me that even after all these years I've been out of the game, people remember me and value my contribution."
When asked who the toughest player was he ever had to guard, Carr couldn't name just one. He mentioned Jerry West, Dave Bing, Pete Maravich and Nate Archibald.
Today, Austin Carr is the Director of Community Relations for the Cavaliers and handles color commentary on the team's broadcasts, winning an Emmy Award in 2014 for his work on the games. He also conducts the Austin Carr basketball camps through Blue Streak Summer Camps.
In 2013 Carr joined the world of twitter and has already gained a reputation for his often insightful and often humorous tweets. He can be followed at @MrCavalier34.