Charlotte Hornets: 15 greatest scorers of all-time

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/ NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/ NBAE via Getty Images) /
9 of 15
Gerald Wallace, Charlotte Bobcats
(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
  • 16.4 PPG, 7,437 points, 7 seasons
  • NBA All-Star (2010)
  • NBA All-Defensive First Team (2010)
  • NBA steals leader (2006)

Gerald Wallace was arguably the best player Charlotte had when its basketball team was known as the Bobcats. Wallace was a late first-round pick by the Sacramento Kings in 2001 after a few years at the University of Alabama. He would come to the Queen City as part of the 2004 NBA expansion draft to include the Bobcats.

Wallace spent the next 6.5 seasons largely starring in anonymity in Charlotte. To put it bluntly, Charlotte was largely awful those first few years in the league. The Eastern Conference was the inferior of the two conferences and Charlotte was an expansion team. However, it didn’t take long for Wallace to emerge as a key piece for the franchise going forward.

In his second year with the team in 2005-06, Wallace led the NBA in steals with 2.5 per game. The spry small forward would lead on his defensive acumen for the rest of his time in Charlotte. He would end up having his best season in the NBA in 2010, as he was named an NBA All-Star for the Bobcats and to the All-Defensive First-Team.

It should be noted that Charlotte made the Eastern Conference Playoffs for the first time as an expansion franchise that 2009-10 season, though the Bobcats were swept in the first round. That season saw Wallace average 18.2 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. This was the only time that Wallace averaged a double-double in his NBA career.

In terms of scoring, Wallace averaged 16.4 points per game in his seven seasons with the Bobcats. He scored 7,437 career points in Charlotte uniform. He was just a shade under 10,000 in his NBA career with 9,933. Obviously, roughly 75 percent of his buckets came while Wallace was with the Bobcats.

Wallace never averaged fewer than 11.1 points per game in a season with Charlotte. The Bobcats could count on him to be in the high teens every night for them. Wallace shot a strong 47.7 from the field in Charlotte and a respectable 32.2 percent from 3-point land given the time he played in the NBA.

In February 2011, Wallace was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for Dante Cunningham, future Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks, Joel Przybilla and two future first-round picks. He would be traded to the then-New Jersey Nets about a year later in a deal that ultimately landed Portland the opportunity to draft Damian Lillard out of Weber State in 2012.

Overall, Wallace would bounce around for the rest of his NBA career until he was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers before the 2015-16 NBA season. Frankly, his NBA career outside of Charlotte was unspectacular. That being said, Wallace was the best player on the Bobcats during their expansion days and the second best player to play in Charlotte in the 21st century after point guard Kemba Walker.