Charlotte Hornets: 20 greatest player seasons in franchise history

Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Eddie Jones, Charlotte Hornets
23 Mar 1999: Eddie Jones #6 of the Charlotte Hornets looking on during the game against the Orlando Magic at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida. The Magic defeated the Hornets 86-78. /

19. Eddie Jones, 1998-99

  • NBA All-Defensive Second Team
  • 17.0 PPG, 4.2 APG, 3.9 RPG, 3.0 SPG, 1.1 BPG w/Hornets
  • 2.4 Offensive Win Shares, 1.6 Defensive Win Shares w/Hornets
  • 4.0 Win Shares, 2.1 Value Over Replacement Player

Eddie Jones might have only played 102 games in Charlotte uniform. However, he was still at the peak of his powers in roughly the year and a half he spent in the Queen City in between stints with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.

Jones was a highly coveted player coming out of Temple in the 1994 NBA Draft. The Lakers took him No. 10 overall. He would spend his first 4.5 years in the NBA with the team that drafted him. In Los Angeles, Jones made the NBA All-Rookie First Team, two NBA All-Star teams and an All-Defensive Second Team.

So when the Hornets traded for him in March 1999 in the Glen Rice deal, it’s easy to see why he was so valued. Rice had been an outstanding scorer the three years prior in Charlotte, but had seen his best NBA days behind him. Jones was in the midst of his prime and certainly a player Charlotte would be interested in having play for their ball club.

Yes, Jones only played in 30 games for the Hornets that season. Do keep in mind that this was the strike-shortened 1998-99 NBA season that featured just 50 regular season games and the dreaded back-to-back-to-backs.

After 20 games with the 1998-99 Lakers, Jones continued to assert his dominance on both ends of the floor. While he definitely posted better offensive numbers in his career, his 17.0 points and 4.2 assists per game were in essence an average year for the sharpshooting wing.

However, it was on the defensive end of the floor that made this year memorable for Jones on top of his arrival in Charlotte. Jones made his second of three-straight NBA All-Defensive Second-Teams. He had 3.9 rebounds, a ridiculous 3.0 steals and 1.1 blocks per game with the Hornets.

This led to him accumulating 1.6 defensive win shares over the course of just 30 games. He added 2.4 offensive win shares to round out his 1998-99 Hornets total to a solid 4.0. His 2.1 value over replacement player was below-average for him, but his 3.0 when combining his Lakers numbers was satisfactory in a strike-shortened year for the talented wing out of Temple.

Overall, this isn’t one of Jones’ best seasons in the NBA. He was a two-time All-Star in Los Angeles, and put together a few excellent years with the Heat. However, Jones’ ability to pickpocket defenders and light it up from distance was a sign of great things to come for him in what was his final season in Charlotte in 1999-00.