clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Four Heels Get Drafted

New, comments

Three first rounders and one in the 2nd.

A banner night for the Tar Heels capping off an incredible three year run by these guys and also an academic year which saw a UNC player taken in the first round of the NFL, MLB and NBA Drafts.

Tyler Hansbrough went 13th to the Indiana Pacers which elicited a chant of "overrated" from the New York Knicks fans in attendance.  Given the state of the Knicks organization and the fact the Knicks have a grand total of two NBA titles I think we can say their fans calling anyone overrated is dripping with irony.  Anyway. This should be a good fit for Hansbrough.  The Pacers were obviously interested in getting a known commodity versus taking a gamble on someone's potential or upside.

Ty Lawson was a part of the strangest set of draft picks.  Initially Lawson was drafted 18th by Minnesota which was shocking since the Timberwolves had taken two point guards, Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn with the 5th and 6th picks.  Essentially Minnesota picked up Lawson as trade bait and trade him they did to Denver.  Last season, Denver was one of the oft discussed possibilities for Lawson before he decided to return to school.  The Nuggets are coached by UNC alum George Karl and have a veteran point guard in place Lawson can play behind to learn the ropes.  Overall it should shake out well for the 2009 ACC POY.

Wayne Ellington did end up in Minnesota, apparently to stay making him the 2nd national title winning UNC guard taken by the T-wolves in the first round.  Minnesota drafted Rashad McCants in 2005 and last season shipped him to Sacramento.  Jay Bilas remarked during the draft that Ellington will probably end up being a better pro than Gerald Henderson who went 12th to Charlotte.  Minnesota will be extremely young but hopefully Ellington can find his niche there and be a solid contributor.

Danny Freaking Green, regardless of anything else, at least ended up on perhaps the most entertaining team.  Green was taken by Cleveland at #46 overall.  So now you have LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal and Danny Freaking Green.  Nice.  Even better for Green is he will be trying to join a solid, winning team that perhaps he can find a role on and make some kind of impact right away.

Roy Williams was on hand at Hansbrough's request and appeared to be having a great time.  Since he did not know that Lawson would be dealt to Denver the look on his face was one of shocking confusion.  The fringe benefit for Roy in this deal is he got major face time on ESPN at the NBA Draft and even did an interview.  That is basically a free commercial for UNC basketball that says: "Hey, want to be sitting with me in the green room at the NBA Draft one day? Then come to North Carolina."

Overall it was a good night for the Heels.  For the most part it appears they all landed in good places and should be able to make their way in the situations they are in. Best of luck guys and once again thank you so much for the memories.