Charlotte Hornets: Four Key Decisions that Changed the Course of the Franchise

Charlotte Hornets Cody Zeller. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Cody Zeller. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Cody Zeller (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Drafting Cody Zeller

The 2013 NBA Draft may go down as one of the oddest in history. Looking back at the mock drafts from that year, there was a clear lack of clarity on where any player would be selected.

The rules of this draft stated that even the weirdest of picks would’ve been defensible. A big question that then arises from this is; why would the Hornets pick a player with the least amount of upside?

The first round of this draft featured a slew of valuable players at random points. Stars such as CJ McCollum and reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo were taken after the Hornets pick. The first round even featured several starters; Dennis Schroder, Steven Adams, and Rudy Gobert.

In other drafts, it would be ridiculous to consider players that went 6th, 11th, 13th, 8th and 24th, picks after a certain slot to be in that range. Yet, the mantra in 2013 was ‘anything goes.’ Taking an 18-year-old from Greece who played church league basketball in the first round was not frowned upon.

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Perhaps looking at one of these ‘diamond in the rough’ prospects would’ve netted an all-star as opposed to the limited skill set that an established college player such as Zeller brings.

On a larger scale, this mishap speaks to a larger issue that Michael Jordan and company have faced in his tenure as owner. This issue is a lack of in-depth scouting. Since become majority owner in 2010, all 10 of the team’s first-round picks have been players from power conference schools.

While it’s unreasonable to assume the Hornets haven’t done any international or mid-major scouting, it is an interesting trend to note that only players with the highest visibility are actually being picked.

Using the 2013 NBA Draft as a case study, it would be welcomed to see Charlotte take a chance on an extremely high ceiling prospect in the future.