The first round of the NBA playoffs are coming to a close, but let’s take a look at the former Duke men’s basketball players who were not lucky to participate in the playoffs.
The worst team in the NBA was Orlando (20-62) and Josh McRoberts began the season with the Magic, but finished it with Charlotte (the second worst team at 21-61). He averaged just 3.9 points in 16.7 minutes with the Magic, but received more playing time with the Bobcats. McRoberts averaged 9.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30.8 minutes.
His teammate was Gerald Henderson, who averaged 15.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game with Charlotte. In the Bobcats second to last game (a win over the Knicks), Henderson scored 27 points and dished out five assists.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a tough season (24-58), but it wasn’t because of Kyrie Irving. He averaged 22.5 points, 5.9 assists, and 3.7 rebounds, as he started all 59 games that he played. However, he committed 3.2 turnovers a game. Irving scored 30+ points 13 times this season.
New Orleans changed from the Hornets to the Pelicans, but the results were the same, another losing season (27-55). It was a rough rookie season for Austin Rivers, who did not play after March 6th due to a fractured right hand. In the games he did play, he averaged 6.2 points. He dished out 2.1 assists, but committed 1.2 turnovers. Rivers finally seemed to adjust to the professional level over his final month.
Lance Thomas was a Pelicans teammate and averaged 2.5 points in 59 games. His best game came in a March 12th loss. He scored 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting and hauled in five rebounds. Thomas was also cleared in an NCAA investigation where he spent nearly $100,000 on jewelry while he was still at Duke.
The Detroit Pistons finished their season at 29-53 and Kyle Singler had a solid rookie season. He averaged 8.8 points and four rebounds over 28 minutes a game. His best game came in a March 22nd loss, when he scored 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He also hauled in eight rebounds, five on the offensive side.
Corey Maggette played in just 18 games with the Pistons and the team is expected to part ways with him. He struggled with staying healthy and finding a spot in the lineup (he was the oldest player on a team trying to go younger).
Nolan Smith played in just 40 games for the 33-49 Portland Trailblazers. He averaged 2.8 points per game. His lone double-digit scoring game in the second half came in a February 2nd win versus Utah (13 points on 5-of-7 shooting).
Elton Brand mostly came off the bench for the 41-41 Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 7.2 points and six rebounds. Brand only scored in double-digits twice over his final 19 games.
My next update will be of the former Blue Devils who were playing in the NBA playoffs. How many will still be playing on teams that are still alive? We shall see.