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
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images /

Draft Bust No. 4: Derrick Williams, 2011

The presence of Derrick Williams on this list gives us a three-year stretch of busts at pick No. 2, and in a way it’s a six-way run. 2009 is yet to come, 2014 was already on the list, and in 2013 Victor Oladipo was hardly a superstar and certainly not for the team that chose him. What a painful run at the No. 2 pick.

Derrick Williams wasn’t supposed to be on a list like that, as he looked like a can’t-miss prospect. He blew up as a sophomore at Arizona, averaging 19.5 points and leading the nation in true-shooting percentage. The 6’8″ forward was a two-way force and was a First-team All-American who led his team to the Elite Eight. Size, athleticism, skill, defense, team success – it was all there.

The Minnesota Timberwolves took Williams ready for him to be a franchise-changer. Not only did he fail to hit that lofty target, he failed to hit any target at all. He made it just over two seasons with the Timberwolves before they moved him to Sacramento for a role player (Luc Mbah a Moute). For such an efficient college player he couldn’t seem to score in the NBA.

Williams bounced around the benches of a few teams over the next few seasons, but his NBA career was over. To his credit he has found success overseas since leaving the NBA in 2018, but he fell hard and fast from being the No. 2 pick.

Just Missed: It was a big-heavy top of the draft after Kyrie Irving at No. 1 overall in 2011, with Enes Kanter, Tristan Thompson and Jonas Valanciunas all carving out long careers but never making an All-Star Game between them. The real stars came a few picks later, with Kemba Walker (9), Klay Thompson (11), Kawhi Leonard (15) and Jimmy Butler (30) all multi-time All-Stars picked later in the round.

Hornets this Draft: 2011 was a happy draft for Charlotte, as they drafted Connecticut hero Kemba Walker after he led the Huskies to the National title. He would play 605 games for Charlotte, scoring over 12,000 points and making three All-Star Games. They also traded for No. 7 pick Bismack Biyombo, who had a less starry career.