The NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28th at 7:00 PM which means the four Tar Heels from the 2011-12 team are in the finals days of preparation before learning where they might spend the first few years of their NBA careers. There are various mock drafts and other "big board" rankings out there which for some reason do not come off as annoyingly as the NFL Draft. Perhaps not being bludgeoned to death with Mel Kiper and Todd McShay by ESPN makes the NBA Draft run-up easier to deal with.
At any rate, here is a sampling of where various experts think UNC players might end up.
[table id=239 /]
Sources: CBS Sports, Draft Express, NBA Mock, ESPN's Chad Ford, Jay Bilas.
Of the four prospects, Barnes seems to have been the one most consistently pegged at a slot by the experts. Everyone is convinced he is headed to Sacramento with Jeff Goodman thinking Cleveland is probable. There has been some chatter about Barnes going to the Cavaliers to play with good friend Kyrie Irving. The issue there is no one is sure whether Barnes can work as a two guard or not. His jump shot says he can but questions about his handle, speed and ability to drive say otherwise. The Bobcats did work Barnes out last week but in all likelihood they will pass on him.
The other three Heels are all over the board depending on who you look at and how team needs get perceived. Marshall has the widest range of possible landing spots. That is owed to Marshall being really solid in some aspects of his game and questionable in others. Out of the possibilities listed here, Marshall to Dallas might be the best option given the team is already accustomed to Jason Kidd and Marshall is said to fit his mold. It would also give Marshall a chance to learn playing behind Kidd instead of being tossed out there to play right away.
While Henson's name shows up at 12th and 14th both Draft Express and Chad Ford have had him locked in at the 9th pick to Detroit which has been the case for weeks now. Henson has been working out for various teams and while anything could happen, him ending up in Detroit strikes me as a real possibility.
Zeller is a player most analysts are calling the "safe pick." He is a finished product for the most part, likely near his ceiling and is a known commodity. Zeller is also a very smart player and a high character individual. In short you know what you are getting and not getting so hopefully you can plug Zeller in a role where he can be effective. There were some fleeting discussions of Zeller alongside Anthony Davis in New Orleans but I am not sure that is happening. Houston is looking like a probably landing spot based on the experts' opinions though Zeller has been working out for teams like Portland as well who also picked in the 10-16 range Zeller is likely to end up.
There is still no word on if Roy Williams plans to join the four draftees on Thursday night. Personally I think it is a free recruiting plug for him to do so but by all accounts Roy is not thinking about that angle. He feels it should just be the families there and as of his press conference was still undecided. Like the 2009, the last "big" class from UNC to go into the NBA at the same time, it will be interesting to see how these careers pan out.