Charlotte Hornets Draft History: Best And Worst Picks Of All-Tim - myfoxcarolinas.com

Charlotte Hornets Draft History: Best And Worst Picks Of All-Time

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Tonight, for the first time since 2001, the Charlotte Hornets will have a pick in the NBA Draft. We decided to take a look back at the best and worst of the team's draft history.

Worst

1. The 1996 Draft (Kobe Bryant, Tony Delk and Malik Rose): Okay, take a second and breathe. Bryant is easily the best player on this list, so how can he be a part of the team's worst draft class of all-time? Well beyond the obvious fact that Bryant never played a game in teal and purple, the Hornets also missed out on drafting future MVP Steve Nash and perennial All-Star Jermaine O’Neal in a draft where they had the 13th and 16th picks. In fact, Dave Cowens and Co. totally botched this draft, picking Tony Delk (16th overall) over Derrick Fisher (24th overall) and Malik Rose (44th overall) over Ben Wallace (undrafted). Oh, what might have been…

2. J.R. Reid (5th overall, 1989): At the time, this seemed like a no-brainer. Reid was a star at North Carolina and with a fledgling franchise; he seemed to be a perfect fit. Reid was a solid player, but never became the star that he was thought to be, never averaging more than 12 points per season during his first stint with the Hornets. Players selected after him include Shawn Kemp, Tim Hardaway and Mookie Blaylock, all of which went on to become All-Stars.

3. Kirk Haston (16th overall, 2001): “Kirk Who”? Haston played just 27 games in two seasons, averaging 1.2 points per game. You may not remember Haston, but you may know a few of the players picked after him: Zach Randolph. Gerald Wallace. Gilbert Areneas. Tony Parker. Yikes!

Best

1. Larry Johnson (1st overall, 1991): The Hornets finally won the draft lottery in 1991 and hit a homerun with the UNLV star. Johnson was a bruising, high-flying forward in the mold of Charles Barkley. Between his high-flying dunks and the genius Grandmama shoe campaign, he quickly became a star, making the All-Star team in his second season. A back injury in the 93-94 season took away much of his explosiveness, but he still managed to bounce back with an All-Star season in 95-96 before being traded to the New York Knicks in the offseason.

2. Alonzo Mourning (2nd overall, 1992): Heading into the lottery, everyone knew LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal. The Hornets almost got close enough to pick Shaq, but came up with the second pick. Mourning wasn’t a bad consolation prize, teaming with Larry Johnson to give the Hornets one of the most athletic frontcourts in the league. Mourning would play three seasons with the team before being traded to Miami. (Starting to see a pattern here)?

3. Kendall Gill (5th overall, 1990): Before Zo and LJ came along, Gill was easily the Hornets best pick. The swingman from Illinois averaged over 19 points his second season in the league, and in his third teamed with the Mourning and Johnson to help the team to its first-ever playoff appearance. He was—you guessed it—traded to Seattle in the offseason.

Honorable Mention: Baron Davis (3rd overall, 1999)

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