Charlotte Hornets never played in the Eastern Conference Finals in their 26-years long history.
They played ten times in the NBA Playoffs, six times they lost in the 1st round and fourth times they lost in the 2nd round.
Last time they won the playoffs series were 13 years ago.
Like other teams, they also made mistakes in the NBA Draft.
Let’s check their biggest mistakes and how many good players they missed so far.
5. NBA Draft 2006
In 2006 the Charlotte Bobcats selected forward Adam Morrison with the 3rd overall pick to hopefully bring the team out of its struggles and partner up with Gerald Wallace to make a playoff push. Adam ended up only staying with Charlotte for one year and never shot a field goal percentage over 40% and was out of the league by 2010.
Honorable mention: Rudy Gay (8th overall) and J.J. Redick (11th overall)
Steal of the Draft: Paul Millsap (47th overall)
Pick that should have been made: Brandon Roy (6th overall)
Alright, so before you go off and start talking about Brandon Roy’s knees, remember he was a consistent 20 ppg scorer and maybe if it were to happen all over again he wouldn’t have been bitten by the injury bug so bad. With prime Raymond Felton, Gerald Wallace, Emeka Okafor and Brandon Roy, this could easily be a playoff team and maybe win a series or two.
4. NBA Draft 2008
In 2008 the Bobcats decided they were going to take point guard DJ Augustin with the 9th overall pick. While averaging respectable numbers, he was never able to reach up to expectations and it was made clear he wouldn’t be anything more than a backup guard.
Honorable mention: Courtney Lee (22nd overall) and Serge Ibaka (24th overall)
Steal of the Draft: Goran Dragic (45th overall)
Pick that should have been made: Brook Lopez (10th overall)
With the addition of all-star Brook Lopez to the Bobcats, pairing him up with skilled big man Emeka Okafor, they could team up to become one of the best front courts in the NBA. With both having a respectable midrange game it could prevent floor spacing problems and they would be dominant on the glass.
3. NBA Draft 2001
In 2001 NBA Draft the Bobcats selected Kirk Haston with the 16th overall pick and he ended up being nothing more than a role player.
Honorable Mention: Zach Randolph (19th overall)
Steal of the draft: Brian Scalabrine (35th overall) GOAT
Pick that should’ve been made: Gilbert Arenas (31st overall)
With his volume scoring and ability to get others open, he would’ve been a great fit on a team with very little offensive weapons and maybe this keeps him out of pulling guns on a teammate in the locker room.
2. NBA Draft 2012
In 2012 NBA Draft the Bobcats selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the 2nd overall pick and they expected from him to become one of the best small forwards in the league.
The truth is that Kidd-Gilchrist never played 82 games in one season with the Hornets. He is the injured-prone player and at this moment he is a little bit overrated.
Steal of the Draft: Draymond Green (35th pick)
Pick that should’ve been made: Damian Lillard (6th pick, selected by Portland Trail Blazers)
Just four years after, Damian Lillard is one of the best point guards in this league. Last season he scored 25.1 points with 6.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.1 three-pointers per game.
We expect that Lillard will be at least in the conversation about MVP Award this season.
I know they (Hornets) already had Kemba Walker on the roster, but Lillard is their 2nd biggest mistake so far.
1. NBA Draft 1996
The Charlotte Hornets had the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA and made a wonderful choice with the selection of Kobe Bryant. 13 days later they decided to trade away the 18-year-old rook coming straight out of high school for an established player in the league Vlade Divac. He only stayed in Charlotte for two years while averaging a respectable 12 points and 9 rebounds, while Kobe, on the other hand, is going to go down as a no doubt top ten player of all time.
Honorable mention: Peja Stojakovic (14th pick) and Jermaine O'Neal (17th pick)
Steal of the Draft: Steve Nash (15th pick)
While having a 15th overall pick in the draft and calling it the steal of the draft is unusual, but when the 15th pick is arguably one of the best point guards to ever play the game it makes it hard not to give it respect.
Of course, this was the biggest mistake in the Hornets history. What if the Hornets never traded Kobe Bryant to the Lakers? How many championships will they have today?