Ed Davis said on Twitter that the cast on his broken left wrist would be coming off today. The assumption is that he will then start rehab to get it back into playing shape. The first thought that jumps into the minds of some fans is that Davis might be available for UNC's NIT Semifinal game in New York. It is extremely doubtful Davis would be cleared medically to do much of anything, basketball included. The wrist will be very weak and the atrophy in his muscles will take some time to work out. Probably more important than that is what reintroducing Davis to the lineup would do to the current makeup and chemistry of the team. Of course I am talking about chemistry on the court and not the locker room variety which has been the subject of rumor where Davis is concerned. As it stands right now, the Tar Heels all seem to have an idea of who they are and each player knows their role. Even if it were possible to bring Davis back, it would strike me as a bad idea with potentially only two games left.
The real importance of Davis' rehab lies in whether or not it affects his decision to declare for the NBA Draft. Prior to the injury, I think it was a safe bet Davis would declare considering his stock, obviously unaffected by lackluster moments, was still top five. The broken wrist casts doubts on that for the following reasons. First of all, Davis still has significant rehab ahead. Since the break was in his shooting hand, it is going to take copious work and time on his part to get back to form. Secondly, is the withdrawal deadline set by the NCAA. In previous years, players had until a week before the draft to decide if they wanted to stay in or not. That deadline has been moved to May 8th this season, mostly at the behest of the ACC who actually wanted a mid-April deadline for withdrawals from the draft. The new deadline means Davis is going to have precious little time to decide whether or not he is ready for the NBA Draft. While his timetable for a full return, it is hard to imagine he will be back to full form by the time the deadline rolls around though he could judge his progress far enough along to take the risk of entering the draft.Plus, Davis' draft stock has always been based on his potential which means NBA GMs might not be so worried about the wrist if they can get assurances it has healed properly.
Per Roy Williams' system, it is unlikely he will sit down and discuss draft matters until after the season is over which we know now will be next week one way or the other. That being the case I doubt the information gather will not begin in earnest until early April and some sort of decision in the weeks following that. Nevertheless, the annual Tar Heel fan tradition of the NBA Draft Watch begins now.