Charlotte Hornets' 10 Greatest Players During Bobcats Era

Matt Schneidman@@matt_schneidmanContributor IIIMay 21, 2014

Charlotte Hornets' 10 Greatest Players During Bobcats Era

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    Gary Dineen/Getty Images

    The stereotypical image of the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats franchise is one that the team can't emerge from the depths of the Eastern Conference. While that is true for the most part, the franchise has made two playoff appearances in the last five years—once in 2010 and once this year.

    In between the inaugural 18-win season and this year's seventh-seeded squad, Charlotte has produced some quality players, including Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw (the three pictured above).

    While they're no Kobe, Kareem or Magic, these players serviceably represented a franchise that has only existed for 10 years.

    While Tuesday's name change brought the Charlotte Hornets' stats and records from 1988 to 2002 back to Charlotte, this is a look back at the players to don a Charlotte Bobcats uniform from 2004 to 2014. Read on to find out where the aforementioned three, and others, rank in the Charlotte "Whatever You Want to Call It" 10 greatest players in franchise history.

    Note: Ranking criteria include each player's top-10 franchise ranking in 12 different categories (per, a general summary of the kind of player they were for the Bobcats and whether they contributed to either playoff team. Players had to play a minimum of two seasons with Charlotte.

10. Matt Carroll

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    USA TODAY Sports

    No. of Seasons: 8

    Games: 3rd

    Minutes: 8th

    Points: 8th

    Rebounds: 9th

    Assists: NR

    Steals: 7th

    Blocks: NR

    Three-Pointers: 3rd

    Free Throws: 7th

    Player Efficiency Rating: NR

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: NR

    Matt Carroll resembles a poor-man’s Matt Bonner, except playing for a much worse team. He was a nice stretch 3 or 4 during his extensive tenure with Charlotte and only ranks at No. 10 because of his non-rankings in the last two statistical categories compared to the No. 9 player.

9. Brevin Knight

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    No. of Seasons: 3

    Games: NR

    Minutes: 9th

    Points: NR

    Rebounds: NR

    Assists: 2nd

    Steals: 3rd

    Blocks: NR

    Three-Pointers: NR

    Free Throws: 9th

    Player Efficiency Rating: 4th

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: 5th

    Although Brevin Knight was a journeyman throughout his NBA career, he did spend three seasons with Charlotte in its inaugural three years. He was never a scoring point guard, but served more as a facilitator, which is acceptable since that was the prototypical point guard when Knight was in his “prime” in the early 2000s.

8. Stephen Jackson

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    Kent Smith/Getty Images

    No. of Seasons: 2

    Games: NR

    Minutes: NR

    Points: 9th

    Rebounds: NR

    Assists: 8th

    Steals: 9th

    Blocks: NR

    Three-Pointers: 7th

    Free Throws: 8th

    Player Efficiency Rating: 7th

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: NR

    Stephen Jackson’s biggest contribution in any of his NBA seasons so far was averaging 21.2 points and 5.1 rebounds for Charlotte in its first-ever playoff season. He only played in Charlotte for two seasons, but certainly contributed more than his fair share, averaging over 18 points in his second season with the team.

7. D.J. Augustin

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    Ron Turenne/Getty Images

    No. of Seasons: 4

    Games: 6th

    Minutes: 6th

    Points: 6th

    Rebounds: NR

    Assists: 3rd

    Steals: 10th

    Blocks: NR

    Three-Pointers: 2nd

    Free Throws: 6th

    Player Efficiency Rating: 8th

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: 7th

    After Raymond Felton left, D.J. Augustin saw his role increase with Charlotte—and he fared quite well. He has never really been a standout point guard, but he’s capable of starting for a playoff team, as he did for the Chicago Bulls this year. He was on the Bobcats’ 2010 playoff team, but only started two games during the regular season.

6. Gerald Henderson

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    USA TODAY Sports

    No. of Seasons: 5

    Games: 5th

    Minutes: 5th

    Points: 4th

    Rebounds: 8th

    Assists: 7th

    Steals: 6th

    Blocks: 7th

    Three-Pointers: NR

    Free Throws: 4th

    Player Efficiency Rating: NR

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: NR

    Gerald Henderson has epitomized “serviceable” in his five years with Charlotte. Although he didn’t provide the flash many hoped he would out of Duke in 2009, he has been a solid 2-guard and small forward for the Bobcats and been a part of both playoff teams.

5. Boris Diaw

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    Brian Babineau/Getty Images

    No. of Seasons: 4

    Games: 7th

    Minutes: 4th

    Points: 7th

    Rebounds: 3rd

    Assists: 5th

    Steals: 8th

    Blocks: 5th

    Three-Pointers: 8th

    Free Throws: NR

    Player Efficiency Rating: NR

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: NR

    Despite his brief stint with Charlotte compared to some of the other players, Boris Diaw ranks highly in all the major statistical categories. He also averaged 11.3 points and 5.2 rebounds as a key player on the Bobcats’ 2010 playoff team.

4. Kemba Walker

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    USA TODAY Sports

    No. of Seasons: 3

    Games: 9th

    Minutes: 7th

    Points: 5th

    Rebounds: 10th

    Assists: 4th

    Steals: 4th

    Blocks: NR

    Three-Pointers: 4th

    Free Throws: 5th

    Player Efficiency Rating: 3rd

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: NR

    Kemba Walker has caused the recent resurgence of the franchise, bringing Charlotte its second-winningest season in franchise history, which has caused cautious optimism for many fans. He is the spark plug to the current team and already ranks highly in the career statistical categories despite only playing two seasons with the club.

3. Emeka Okafor

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    Kent Smith/Getty Images

    No. of Seasons: 5

    Games: 4th

    Minutes: 3rd

    Points: 3rd

    Rebounds: 1st

    Assists: NR

    Steals: 5th

    Blocks: 1st

    Three-Pointers: NR

    Free Throws: 3rd

    Player Efficiency Rating: 2nd

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: 3rd

    Emeka Okafor is Charlotte’s best-ever big man, and although he was given a raw deal coming off a national championship at UConn, he established himself as a serviceable NBA big. Unfortunately, he never got to see the playoffs with Charlotte.

2. Raymond Felton

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    Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images

    No. of Seasons: 5

    Games: 2nd

    Minutes: 2nd

    Points: 2nd

    Rebounds: 4th

    Assists: 1st

    Steals: 2nd

    Blocks: NR

    Three-Pointers: 1st

    Free Throws: 2nd

    Player Efficiency Rating: 10th

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: NR

    Raymond Felton avoided the abysmal first NBA season for the Bobcats after coming into the league in 2005, and after a first-round sweep in 2010, he bolted for playoff basketball. He was the franchise’s best-ever guard and ran a sufficient point for five years.

1. Gerald Wallace

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    Gary Dineen/Getty Images

    No. of Seasons: 7

    Games: 1st

    Minutes: 1st

    Points: 1st

    Rebounds: 2nd

    Assists: 6th

    Steals: 1st

    Blocks: 2nd

    Three-Pointers: 6th

    Free Throws: 1st

    Player Efficiency Rating: 1st

    Win Shares Per 48 Minutes: 1st

    Gerald Wallace was with this franchise from the beginning and carried Charlotte to its first-ever playoff appearance in 2010, averaging 18.2 points per game during that season. Even though he endured many losing seasons, he’s clearly the franchise’s best-ever player, as shown by his statistical ranks.

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