Charlotte Hornets

Here’s a look at all the Charlotte Hornets’ draft picks under Rich Cho’s direction

Kemba Walker (2011) and Cody Zeller (2013) were both drafted with general manager Rich Cho in charge of the Charlotte Hornets.
Kemba Walker (2011) and Cody Zeller (2013) were both drafted with general manager Rich Cho in charge of the Charlotte Hornets.

Rich Cho, named Hornets general manager on June 14, 2011, has guided the team through six drafts.

Four players from those drafts – Frank Kaminsky, Cody Zeller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker – are still with the Hornets.

At this point, probably few would argue with naming Walker, the future NBA All-Star and team leader, the best pick of the Cho era.

Here’s a quick look at Walker and all of the draft picks Charlotte’s NBA team – the Bobcats for the first three drafts – have made under Cho’s direction.


Malachi Richardson (Syracuse, guard, 1st round, 22nd pick): Rights were traded to Sacramento in exchange for Marco Belinelli, who was traded this week to Atlanta as part of the Dwight Howard deal. Richardson averaged 3.6 points and nine minutes a game for the Kings as a rookie.


*Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin, forward/center, 1st round, ninth pick): The 7-footer averaged 26 minutes and 11.7 points per game last season. The Observer’s Rick Bonnell thinks that Kaminsky will need to develop into a more efficient defender. For the second-guessers, Justise Winslow , Myles Turner and Devon Booker were drafted after Kaminsky.

Juan Vaulet (Argentina, guard, 2nd round, 39th overall): Draft rights traded to Brooklyn. Vaulet, 21, still in Argentina, plays for Weber Bahia in that country’s top pro league.


Noah Vonleh (Indiana, forward, 1st round, ninth pick): Traded to Portland in June 2015 along with Gerald Henderson for Nicolas Batum. Vonleh averaged 4.4 points and 17 minutes a game for the Trail Blazers last season.

Shabazz Napier (Connecticut, guard, 1st round, 24th pick): Rights traded to Miami on draft day in exchange for the Heat’s draft rights to P.J. Hairston and Semaj Christon. He’s now a backup in Portland.

P.J. Hairston (North Carolina, guard, 1st round, 26th pick): In the NBA, Hairston played an uneven 1 1/2 years with the Hornets, then landed with the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors. He’s in the NBA D-League now. He last made news in May, when he was arrested on outstanding warrants in Wrightsville Beach.

Dwight Powell (Stanford, forward, 2nd round, 45th overall: Traded to Cleveland and later to Dallas, he’s done several stints in the D-League as well.

Semaj Christon (Xavier, guard, 2nd round, 55th): Landed with Oklahoma City in draft-day trade; he’s also seen D-League assignments.


*Cody Zeller (Indiana, 1st round, 4th pick): The incumbent starter at center, signed to a lucrative contract extension last fall, has been assured he’ll still be a part of the team’s core after the Dwight Howard trade.


*Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky, forward, 1st round, 2nd pick): Known for his defense, Kidd-Gilchrist is still trying to become a consistent scorer. Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond and Draymond Green followed MKG in the draft.

Jeffery Taylor (Vanderbilt, forward, 2nd round, 31st overall): Played three seasons for Charlotte and saw some starts. He’s no longer in the league. Taylor served a 24-game suspension over a domestic-violence incident.


Bismack Biyombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1st round, 7th pick): Rights acquired from Sacramento in a three-team trade. Biyombo signed with Toronto as an unrestricted free agent in 2015 and signed a four-year deal last season with Orlando. Future stars Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard were drafted after Biyombo and Walker.

*Kemba Walker (Connecticut, guard, 1st round, 9th pick): Generally considered Charlotte’s best player, Walker made the All-Star team last season while leading the Hornets in scoring and minutes.

Tobias Harris (Tennessee, forward, 1st round, 19th pick): Traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on draft night and then to Orlando in February 2013. Now with the Detroit Pistons, he was named a full-time starter in March.

Jeremy Tyler (Tokyo Apache, center, 2nd round, 39th overall): Rights traded to Golden State, where he started in his final rookie month. He’s now playing in China.

*Still on Hornets roster

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