The Charlotte Hornets have several decisions to make this off-season. Its most important decision is likely who they will take in the upcoming NBA draft in June. The event is always important for teams because of the financial implications. The Hornets’ best player is LaMelo Ball, and he currently makes just over $8.5 million dollars. That isn’t chump change, but it certainly is nowhere near the former All-star’s worth to the team. Moreover, they will be able to offer him more money for longer than any other team once this deal is done.
The draft is even more important for a team like Charlotte. Unlike the Los Angeles Lakers or Miami Heat, Queen City isn’t a destination for many free agents. Therefore, trades and drafts are the best way for the team to bolster its roster.
With that in mind, it makes sense to look back at the franchise’s best draft picks. Ranking them from 10 to one is a fun exercise and gives hope to a fruitful and helpful upcoming lottery selection this summer. Of note for this list, the player must’ve played for the Hornets, so no Kobe Bryant or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will grace this list, despite their obvious career accomplishments.
And while the totality of the player’s accomplishments is taken into account, extra weight is given to their contributions as a member of the franchise. Additionally, while the Charlotte Bobcats’ history is included in franchise history, New Orleans Hornets is not.
The South Carolina native and UNC alum comes in at number 10 on the list. In his first season, he made 2nd All-Rookie team. He started 54 of 80 games his first year and averaged 11.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. He was a part of one of the two Bobcats’ playoff appearances. In the sweep by the Orlando Magic, Felton started all four games. He is 6th on all-time points scored among the Hornets’ drafted players that met this list’s qualifications.