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The 1976 NBA draft was the 30th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on June 8, 1976, before the 1976–77 season. In this draft, 18 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Atlanta Hawks won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Chicago Bulls were awarded the second pick. The Hawks then traded the first pick to the Houston Rockets before the draft. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. The New York Knicks forfeited their first-round draft pick due to their illegal signing of George McGinnis whose rights were held by the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers, the Golden State Warriors and the Buffalo Braves also forfeited their second, third and fourth-round picks respectively due to their participation in 1975 supplementary draft American Basketball Association (ABA) players who had never been drafted in the NBA. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. Before the draft, 26 college underclassmen were declared eligible for selection under the "hardship" rule. 13 of them withdrew before the draft, leaving only 13 early entry candidates eligible for selection. These players had applied and gave evidence of financial hardship to the league, which granted them the right to start earning their living by starting their professional careers earlier. The draft consisted of 10 rounds comprising the selection of 173 players. On August 8, 1976, the league also hosted a Dispersal draft for ABA players from the Kentucky Colonels and Spirits of St. Louis, who were not included in the ABA–NBA merger.