Last week I evaluated the caliber of player that might be available with the Hornets No. 32 pick (think Kyle Singler, Cheick Diallo, and Jeffery Taylor) but Charlotte also has the No. 56 pick at the tail end of the draft. Let’s look back at the players drafted between No. 55 and No. 57 from 2010-2016 and use these 21 players as the baseline for what kind of production the Hornets can expect. (And folks, it ain’t pretty.)
Solid Starters (0 of 21 - 0%)
Not a single one of the 21 players drafted at No. 55, 56, or 57 from 2010-2016 developed into a solid starter.
Contributors (1 of 21 - 5%)
E’Twaun Moore, G. Moore was drafted at No. 55 in the 2011 draft and has carved out a nice NBA career and is currently playing 18.7 minutes per game for the New Orleans Pelicans. He has started 189 of 567 career games and sports career averages of 8.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. He has also drained 39.1 percent of his three point attempts during his nine year career.
Bench Depth (2 of 21 - 10%)
Joffrey Lauvergne, F/C. The 2015 No. 55 pick appeared in 208 games over four NBA seasons. His best season was 2015-16 with the Denver Nuggets when he averaged 17.6 minutes, 7.9 points, and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Jeremy Evans, G/F. Evans entered the league in 2010 and carved out a respectable seven-year career. In 2013-14 he appeared in 66 games with the Utah Jazz and averaged 6.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 52.7 percent from the field.
“Cup of Coffee” Guys (9 of 21 - 43%)
A total of nine of the 21 players played somewhere between five and 64 career games before washing out. I’m not going to profile these fringe players and will instead just give you their names - Semaj Christon, Devyn Marble, Hamady N’Diaye, Daniel Hamilton, Peyton Siva, Darius Johnson-Odom, Branden Dawson, Marcus Paige, and Ryan Reid.
The one name that jumps off the page (pun intended) is Marcus Paige whose five NBA games came in a Hornets jersey during the 2017-18 season. He played an additional 46 games with the Greensboro Swarm in the G League that season and averaged 15.2 points and 4.5 assists per game, but the Hornets didn’t re-sign him. He’s now playing professionally in Serbia.
Didn’t Pan Out - (9 of 21 - 43%)
Of the 21 players drafted between No. 55 and No. 57, nine of them never appeared in an NBA game. These players are Chukwudiebere Maduabum, Targuy Ngombo, Tomislav Zubcic, Ikan Karaman, Alex Oriakhi, Louis Labeyrie, Cady Lalanne, Nikola Addicevic, and Wang Zhelin. Many of these guys were foreign players that teams were trying to hit home runs with, but each of them was a strikeout.
So, Hornets fans, let’s temper our expectations about the No. 56 pick. Based on past history there’s only a 14 percent chance (3 of 21) that Charlotte winds up with a player who can either contribute or provide some limited bench depth. There’s an 86 percent chance (18 of 21) the player the Hornets take with their final pick will either just play a handful of NBA games, or none at all. When E’Twaun Moore is the best case scenario, it’s best not to get our hopes up too high.