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THF Predictions

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Are they staying or going?

I was told by a friend yesterday that I should make a bold prediction on the blog as to who is staying or going among the Tar Heel Three. The problem with any prediction is, it is neither bold or insightful because there is such a glut of wild speculation and changing information that making a read is exceedingly difficult. However, if there is one thing blogs are good for it is throwing caution(and possibly others things) to the wind and providing some sort of analysis. So here it goes with some help from the Fayetteville Observer which has collated some key information on the three players such as workout schedules.

Ty Lawson

Fayetteville Observer:

June 4: Indiana (picks 11th and 41st)
June 5: Cleveland (picks 19th)
Monday: Washington (picks 18th and 47th)
Tuesday: Denver (picks 20th)
Possibly upcoming: Portland (picks 13th, 33rd, 36th and 55th) or Sacramento (picks 12th, 42nd and 43rd)

The buzz: Maybe we shouldn’t be talking about “buzz” with a guy who was just arrested for driving after consuming alcohol. The bigger issue may be the bumps and bruises that seem to slow the point guard on a weekly basis. Long story short: even though his NBA home is far from clear yet, don’t expect Lawson back at UNC.

THF Prediction: Going

Based on what we know, Lawson has maintained he will only leave if he can be a member of the million dollar club which is 20th or higher.  I think there stands a reasonably good chance he will be top 20, most likely to Denver. The question is whether he will stick to that plan if that is not the case?  My gut feeling is he will not.  I know he seems fairly adamant about it but I think we he reaches the point of making the final decision between going back to school or heading to the NBA with a guaranteed contract whatever the amount, he will choose the NBA.

The bottom line is Lawson does not appear to like college.  He would rather go to the NBA, get paid to play basketball and not worry about going to class.  And to some extent it is difficult to cast that unfavorably considering the money involved.  That being said, it is fairly clear Lawson also lacks maturity which could make this whole decision the wrong one should that immaturity create issues similar or worse to the ones we have seen.

I honestly hope this is not the case and whatever he decides to do, it brings him success.

Wayne Ellington

Fayetteville Observer:

June 3: Toronto (picks 17th)
June 4: New Jersey (picks 10th, 21st and 40th)
June 5: Indiana (picks 11th and 41st)
Monday: Cleveland (picks 19th)
Today: New Orleans (picks 27th)

The buzz: There has been little significant chatter circulating about Ellington’s stock. Heading into this process, scouts loved Ellington’s shooting stroke and scoring ability but still questioned his defensive intensity and overall NBA-readiness. To date, not much has changed, leaving Ellington with a big decision before the pull-out deadline next Monday.

THF Prediction: Staying

Ellington should come back.  Every public sign or comment concerning his draft status indicates that Ellington needs at least one more season of college experience to be ready for the NBA.  At this point there are too many uncertain aspects about his game despite the fact he does a variety of things extremely well.  Of course, the FO is correct in pointing out that the chatter surrounding Ellington and his stock has been non-existent.  I can only take that to mean Ellington has simply not given anyone much to talk about.

The question I have concerning Ellington is whether he simply does not care where he is drafted as long as he gets to the NBA.  It has never been my sense he dislikes college the way Lawson seems to, but I do get the feeling he values getting to the NBA above all other things.  So, does that overarching desire push him to stay in the draft or does common sense bring him back to Chapel Hill?  I say it will be the latter but I also would not put significant cash down on it either.

Danny Green

Fayetteville Observer:

June 3: Toronto (picks 17th)
Monday: Cleveland (picks 19th)
Today: Washington (picks 18th and 47th)
Possibly upcoming: San Antonio (picks 26th, 45th and 57th)

The buzz: Green left the pre-draft camp battered and bruised nursing a hip pointer, sprained ankle and achy wrist. Toronto and Cleveland, each selecting in the top 20 and each without a second-round pick, undoubtedly had an eye on 2009 when they brought Green through town. Smart money says the versatile forward will announce his return to Chapel Hill before the end of the week. But until final word becomes official, nothing is a given.

THF Prediction: Staying

Put simply, if Danny Green opts for the draft he is making a huge, career altering mistake.  The stock is simply not there and the FO points out that two of Green's workouts so far have been with teams that do not have a 2nd round pick.  Green is scheduled to workout with Washington and possibly San Antonio who neither pick higher than 45th.  Since Green is not going to be taken in the 1st round, those options in the 2nd round do not look so great.  The only benefit, as the FO points out, is Green is getting worked out by these teams ahead of the 2009 draft and also receiving tips on what he needs to improve.  This is precisely why juniors should really avail themselves of the opportunity to enter the process because of the experience it gives them.

Given the information on hand, I expect Green to announce by the weekend he is returning to Chapel Hill.  The only reason this is not a done deal is the introduction of an unstable element named Danny Green, Sr into the equation.  His statements have been all over the place from the beginning and while I would like to believe that even he is not stupid enough to push his son into the draft for what will probably be a mid 2nd round pick at best(and even that is a longshot), I am not entirely sure that is the case.

T-minus five days until we can finally move on.