Not counting international “draft and stash” players who have not played in the NBA, the 25 players drafted with the fourth, fifth and six picks of the second round in the past 10 years have played an average of 130.6 games. In that same span, the nine players taken with the last pick of the first round who have entered the NBA have played an average of 187.4 games.
Eight of the nine players in the first-round group have started at least one game. Of the 25 players in the second-round group, 16 have started one game or more.
The career of the 35th pick of the 2009 draft — DaJuan Summers — is typical. He has played 83 games, starting seven, for three teams. He also played in the D-League this past season. Others lasted a season or two before getting washed out and ending up in European leagues.
That said, Rice can draw inspiration from Mario Chalmers, the 34th pick of the 2008 draft. Chalmers has played his entire 366-game career with the Miami Heat and won two NBA titles. The player picked after Chalmers, DeAndre Jordan, was given a four-year, $43 million contract in 2011 by the Los Angeles Clippers, the team that drafted him.
That the Wizards traded two players for Rice indicates they strongly believe he can play at the NBA level. It will be up to him to make good on that promise.