The Charlotte Hornets disappointing number 2 NBA draft picks

Brandon Miller, NBA Draft Combine (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Brandon Miller, NBA Draft Combine (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Emeka Okafor #50 of the Charlotte Bobcats (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Emeka Okafor

Okafor was a really solid NBA player. He had just come off winning a National championship with the UCONN Huskies, where he won Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four. In his first year in the league, he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds. It was enough to earn him All-Rookie first-team and Rookie of the Year honors in 2005. He spent five years with the Bobcats before he was traded to the New Orleans Hornets and was a quality defender during his stint. A neck injury would later end his career.

Like Mourning, this isn’t about Okafor’s shortcomings as a player, this is about who he wasn’t. And if there was ever a déjà vu on missing out on Shaquille O’Neal, it would be on missing out on Dwight Howard. Howard, a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer was a dominant center for the Orlando Magic (like O’Neal), and, like Shaq, he eventually won his first ring with the Los Angeles Lakers. The bounce of that lottery ball was brutal.