Draft Express catches up on the rumor mill concerning Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington.
-Ty Lawson—Similar to Henderson, most NBA personnel consider it a foregone conclusion that Lawson will be in the draft when it’s all said and done.
-Wayne Ellington- This one is a bit more interesting, as its becoming tougher and tougher to find an NBA scout these days (and we’ve polled at least two dozen on this subject) who consider Ellington a lock for the first round. In fact, many we’ve spoken to have him slated in the second round. Complicating matters is the fact that Ellington already tested the waters last year, meaning that he will be in the draft for good if he decides to put his name in. North Carolina could also really use some help at the guard spot next season, as they appear to be loaded in the frontcourt but have almost nothing in terms of proven scoring ability right now, and would probably make this Ellington’s team if he elected to return. Still, considering how well Ellington played over the last two months of the season, it’s hard to tell exactly how much more he could do to improve his draft stock if teams still haven’t been won over by his play.
The question has been asked as to why this is taking so long? The answer I think lies with Ellington. Lawson's mind is likely already been made but UNC is not going to announce this piecemeal so they are probably waiting on Ellington. Most of the mock drafts have Ellington on the 1st round bubble and if he is not a lock then it appears to be extremely risky business to declare now. If Ellington returns then he will be a prolific scorer on a team that will still be very balanced on offense. The biggest difference would be the absence of Lawson but Ellington looked darn good in the two games he played in the ACC Tournament sans his fellow junior.
Also of note, Draft Express is indicating that Duke's Gerald Henderson is all but gone meaning UNC could end up being the preseason favorite to win the ACC again regardless of what happens.