Nov 9, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) goes past Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) to the basket in the second half of the game at Staples Center. Lakers won 107-92. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Honorable Mention: Kobe Bryant
Pick: First Round, 13th pick
We often forget that Kobe Bryant was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets and then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a draft day trade for Vlade Divac. Charlotte Hornets general manager Bob Bass was looking to replace the production from the center position that the team had lost with the trade of Alonzo Mourning.
Without many assets to use, Bass found out about the Lakers’ interest in the young high schooler Bryant and managed to make the deal. An additional aid was that the Lakers were trying to free up money with which to sign Shaquille O’Neal.
Bryant has had had nothing short of a Hall of Fame career since. He has won five titles in Los Angeles and scored the second most points in NBA History behind former Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This year Kobe is on his farewell tour and he intends to walk away from the game at season’s end after nineteen years of professional basketball.
While he never played a minute in a Hornets jersey, Bryant is still the best player that the team ever drafted. He gets this Honorable Mention spot for that reason, but not a spot on the top ten proper.