Charlotte Hornets: Top Ten Draftees in Team History

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Dec 12, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) calls out to his team during the first half of the game against the Boston Celtics at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets have always relied on the NBA Draft for the cornerstone of their success. Who are the ten best draftees in Hornets’ history?

The Charlotte Hornets are in the midst of a pretty good season so far. They are well within the chase for the Eastern Conference playoffs despite an injury to Al Jefferson that would have been considered devastating for the team before the season.

The Hornets are also doing it without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the loss of whom led many prognosticators to simply write off the Hornets’ chances then and there.

Why was Kidd-Gilchrist valued so highly? He was seen as a necessary part of the Hornets’ nucleus with guard Kemba Walker and Jefferson. That status had been gained by the young Kidd-Gilchrist because he was the number two pick in the NBA Draft and he had been developing his game little by little.

The success of the Hornets this year has to do with the team’s depth. That depth has mostly been built up through the NBA Draft. The Hornets are getting contributions from the Cody Zellers, Frank Kaminskys, P.J. Hairstons, and Kemba Walkers of the world.

It could even be argued that Nicolas Batum was acquired through the draft since the Hornets sent two drafted players, Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh to get him.

The question becomes which Hornets’ draft pick has meant the most to basketball on the court. The Hornets have the divided history of 1988-2002 and then the Bobcats era to now. Let’s look at the top ten players to be drafted by the Hornets.

Now let’s set some ground rules first. Yes, Bobcats draftees count. No, the New Orleans franchise picks while still bearing the name Hornets will not. A player must have played a significant amount of his career in Charlotte in order to be considered. I will include one honorable mention player who did not since it is too obvious.

Also no expansion draft picks. So no Muggsy Bogues or Gerald Wallace even though they were technically drafted by the Hornets.

So here we go, the top ten Hornets draftees over the last twenty-seven years.

Next: Honorable Mention