Hornets Beware: 7 Biggest busts at pick No. 2 in NBA Draft history

Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks. Dylan Buell/Getty Images /

Draft Bust No. 6: Jabari Parker, 2014

If Evan Turner was well-known in high school, Jabari Parker was a phenom, winning four straight state championships at Simeon Academy in Chicago. He went on to be a first-team All-American his freshman season at Duke, and unsurprisingly went No. 2 in the 2014 NBA Draft to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Parker was doing just fine as a rookie, averaging 12.3 points per game in 25 games as a starter for the Milwaukee Bucks, before he tore his ACL in a mid-December game. He made it back just 11 months later but had an up-and-down sophomore campaign as he recovered. It was in his third season that he truly took took off, averaging 20.1 points per game. Then disaster struck again, with another ACL tear in the same knee in February of 2017.

Parker kept battling back, but the lack of athleticism and lost development time was too much for him to overcome. He never developed enough as a shooter or defender to make up for it, and he ended up being passed around the league as he faded into the role of a bench player. He was waived midway through the 2021-22 season and that was it for his NBA career.

Just Missed: The Milwaukee Bucks can’t be dinged for Parker getting hurt, but even at his best he wasn’t going to be as good as the player who went next: Joel Embiid. Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle also went in the Top 10. Much later in the draft, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic went 41st, but every team missed on him.

Hornets this Draft: This was the first draft for the reborn Charlotte “Hornets” but that’s the only reason it’s memorable. Charlotte took Indiana big Noah Vonleh with the ninth pick. Later in the round, they used the 26th pick on P.J. Hairston, an intriguing wing who never developed.