The first round of the NBA Playoffs have been extremely entertaining so far. But I want to take a break and look back at some of the North Carolina Tar Heels that have declared for the NBA draft this year.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Ty Lawson played phenomenally to start off the season. He had the Tar Heels’ high octane offense moving fluidly. He got everybody involved in the game and had cutdown on his careless turnovers. Lawson’s strength has always been his incredible speed. He was like a blur running past opponents so many times during the year taking the ball coast to coast. However, after suffering from the ankle injury heard around the world, he never got back to full strength. Lawson became more tenative, he lost his explosion, and could not get the team clicking together again. There were flashes of promise when he would penetrate and finish strong at the hole, but it was not the same explosion. In addition, he was a complete no-show in the ebarassing loss to the Jayhawks in the Final Four. But now, Lawson has entered his name for the draft but will not be hiring an agent. I really believe Lawson could use an extra year in college to help his game, especially after the injury. This year’s draft is stacked with point guards ranging from, OJ Mayo, Jarryd Bayless, to DJ Augustin. Lawson is still not at the same tier of play as the players mentioned. His other problem is his lack of size. When was the last time an under 6 foot point guard survived in the NBA? If Lawson stays at UNC for one more year, he will be able to help his draft stock immensley, unless he gets injured again.
I predict he will be drafted late in the first round or early secound round.
Ellington can straight up shoot lights out. He has one of the smoothest jumpers in the game today. He has improved his game dramatically from his freshman year to his sophomore year. He has expanded his sweet three point jumpshot to more of a slashing offensive game too. Anyone that watched his assasination of Clemson three times this year, knows the scoring outbursts he is capable of. However, Ellington has not shown that he can be consistent. While he was the secound leading scorer for the Tar Heels, he was a no show in the NCAA Tournament. His three point shot was not falling in the tournament and he struggled. But the main thing is Ellington has so much upside. If he can bulk up in size, he will be a decent NBA two guard. He has the potential to be more of a Paul Pierce player than a Rip Hamilton player. Staying in college, could help Ellington expand his offensive game even more and allow him to work on his defense which is non-existent.
I predict, Ellington will be a drafted between the 18-24 picks in the first round.
Danny Green (Amazing Dunk)
Green was the best sixth man in the country this year and even had some dance moves before the home games for fans to get hyped about. Green was a solid contributor this year for the Tar Heels He was instant offense for them off of the bench, and played quality defense by blocking shots at a ridiculous pace for a player of his size (6’6″). Green too has declared for the draft without hiring an agent. I don’t think Green will have a chance in this year’s draft. He does not have the up-side that Marvin Williams had when he was drafted as the number 2 pick while coming off the bench for the Tar Heels in 2005. Green would be the starting 2-guard next year if Ellington remains in the draft and would have a chance to be a secondary scoring option after Tyler Hansbrough. If Green chooses to remain in the draft, it would be a bad call. It would be a stretch to say he is drafted late in the 2nd round. While there have been stellar players picked in the 2nd round such as Gilbert Arenas, Manu Ginobilli and Carlos Boozer; Danny Green is no where as good as those players.
I predict, Green will not be drafted and if he does it will be in the late secound round.
Tyler Hansbrough returns back to the Chapel Hill in hopes of winning that elusive National Championship. He will continue to shatter numerous UNC and ACC records on his way to winning his second National Player of the Year Award. I could keep on going about the guy, but let’s save it for next year when he’s forced to leave college.