- Here’s a list of the best Charlotte Hornets’ draft picks in franchise history.
- Alonzo Mourning leads the list of players Charlotte selected through the draft.
- Other notable players include Baron Davis and Kemba Walker.
The Charlotte Hornets joined the NBA in 1988 as an expansion team. Throughout their tenure in the league, the franchise hasn’t had much success, as they are one of the five NBA teams never to reach the NBA Finals and one of the 11 NBA teams to have never won a championship yet. But the Hornets are doing their best to enhance their NBA championship odds by drafting young players and making big trades in the market.
Speaking of drafts, Charlotte has found some of their best talent in the annual event. Names like LaMelo Ball, Malik Monk, Jared Dudley, Larry Johnson, and Kendall Gill were only a few of the numerous players who have made their mark from the draft. However, three standouts significantly helped the Hornets grow their fanbase and be competitive in the league.
Alonzo Mourning literally and figuratively stands as the biggest draft pick in Charlotte Hornets history. He was selected as the second-overall pick behind Shaquille O’Neal in 1992 and immediately established himself as one of the most dominant centers in the league. His double-double average of 21.0 points and 10.3 rebounds with 3.5 blocks per game in his first year secured him a spot to the All-Rookie 1st Team in 1993.
Let’s turn back the clock with some Alonzo Mourning highlights!
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) April 9, 2020
The 6-foot-10 center kept up his consistent average throughout his second and third years in the NBA, which helped him become an NBA All-Star in 1994 and 1995. However, after a contract dispute with Charlotte, Mourning signed with Miami in November 1995. In his three-year tenure, the Georgetown standout played 215 games for the Hornets and put up an average of 21.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks.
Before Baron Davis spearheaded the famous “We Believe” playoff run of the Golden State Warriors in 2007, Charlotte first selected him as the third-overall pick during the 1999 NBA Draft. The former UCLA star brought his explosiveness to the Hornets and steadily became a starter after coming off the bench in his first year in the league. When moving to the starting role in his second year, he made a huge leap in numbers.
OTD in 2000, @BaronDavis recorded his first career triple-double with 12 points, 11 assists & 10 rebounds in an 88-73 win over Philadelphia.
What are some of your best memories of BD? pic.twitter.com/zAywb3FobU
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) November 22, 2020
From a 5.9 points per game average, Davis upped his scoring output to 13.8 points in his sophomore year and 18.1 points in his third year. Because of this surge in scoring, the 6-foot-3 playmaker earned a spot in the 2002 NBA All-Star Game. Before Charlotte rebranded to the Bobcats in 2002, Davis was able to average a decent 12.6 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.7 rebounds in 246 games for the team.
After the Baron Davis era in Charlotte, the team needed another superstar to revive the excitement of their fanbase. That exciting player came in the form of Kemba Walker, who was drafted as the ninth overall pick in 2011. Although he didn’t instantly become the starting point guard for the team in his rookie season, Walker was still able to produce in the double digits with 12.1 points alongside 4.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds.
— NBA (@NBA) March 29, 2018
Since earning the starter role during his second year in the league, the 6-foot super scoring guard displayed an incredible offensive arsenal and helped Charlotte reach two playoff appearances in 2014 and 2016. Because of his dazzling style of play and offensive prowess, Walker represented the team in three consecutive NBA All-Star Games in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Before leaving the team and joining Boston, Walker finished his career in Charlotte with an average of 19.8 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds.
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