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16 Updates of 16 NBA Players

Only one of UNC's 16 NBA players is incapable of wearing a baseball cap.
Only one of UNC's 16 NBA players is incapable of wearing a baseball cap.

After last week's NBA draft, there are 16 Carolina alumni currently playing in the NBA, spanning 19 seasons and three head coaches. The oldest (Jerry Stackhouse) is 37, and the youngest (Harrison Barnes) turned 20 at the end of May. And with the trading period getting under this week, there's been more movement affecting Tar Heels than usual.

The big news, of course, involves Steve Nash, who was traded from Phoenix to the Lakers in exchange for four future draft picks. That leaves as the Suns with two point guards: newly-drafted Kendall Marshall, and recently signed veteran Goran Dragic. Dragic was once the future of the Suns, but the team gave up on him and traded him to Houston two years ago. It's clear Marshall is the Suns' bet for the future, and he'll get his shot at being the next franchise point guard. He'll do so without the chance to apprentice under Nash for a year, however. The Suns have also added Michael Beasley and Eric Gordon, although the latter should stay in New Orleans. This has completely exhausting their cap space.

Before Dragic was signed, there was a rumor the Suns were looking at free agent Raymond Felton. That probably would have been a bad move, if this analysis of Felton's problems running the pick-and-roll is any indication. Instead, the talk is now of Felton returning to the Knicks, who have abandoned the pick-and-roll with their new coach and Carmelo Anthony's return to the court.

Two of UNC's most senior alumni, Jerry Stackhouse and Antwan Jamison, are both unrestricted free agents. Jamison, currently a member of the Cavaliers, met with the Charlotte Bobcats this evening. His family is in Charlotte, but there are also rumors that the Warriors and the Lakers are interested. Either way, he almost certainly won't be a teammate of Tyler Zeller come the fall.

Jamison was originally brought to Cleveland by GM Danny Ferry, a Duke alum. Ferry has since moved on to take the job in Atlanta, and almost immediately began ensuring this would not happen again. The Hawks have traded Marvin Williams to Utah, as part of a deal to acquire expiring contracts. Jerry Stackhouse is also thought to have little future in Atlanta, although there is talk of re-signing the entire bench. Stackhouse's role appears to be more in the locker room than the court at this point, and he's dropped hints about heading into coaching.

Another Carolina guy was tracking the free agent news, for an entirely different reason. Brendan Haywood would have likely been released under the amnesty clause from the Mavericks had they signed Deron Williams. Williams is staying in Brooklyn, but Haywood's future in Dallas is still uncertain. Brandan Wright has no such worries; Dallas has said it will exercise the option on him. After struggling with injuries at Golden State, he seems to have found a good home and is steadily gaining playing time. The Mavs have also retained Vince Carter, making a play for the best alumni association meetings in the country.

Speaking of Texas free agents, Danny Green, after being waived twice in Cleveland (thanks again, Danny Ferry) succeeded tremendously with the Spurs. They have extended a qualifying offer to the shooting guard, giving them the option to match any other team's play for him. The Timberwolves and the Jazz have both expressed interest, but I doubt he'll leave San Antonio. Especially as Minnesota has just signed former Felton teammate Brandon Roy, which doesn't bode particularly well for Wayne Ellington. Ellington only started four games and averaged 6.1 points this season. He did spend June repping the club on a summer caravan tour, however.

Also unsure of his status is Ed Davis in Toronto. The Raptors went hard after Nash, and after missing out signed Houston PG Kyle Lowry. His contract is middle-of-the-road for the team, and they don't seem in danger of hitting the salary cap, but there was talk before the draft in bundling him off in a trade for picks, so he may still be moved back to the States.

Tyler Hansbrough, meanwhile, continues to be a solid role player for the Pacers. His biggest problem is that they continue to surround him with Blue Devils, having drafted Miles Plumlee to join Dahntay Jones. Indiana might let Roy Hibbert escape to the Trailblazers however, which would increase the load on Hansbrough in the paint. Also not going anywhere is Ty Lawson, firmly ensconced as the starting point guard in Denver. The Nuggets did just re-sign his backup, Andre Miller.

And that leaves the newcomers. Tyler Zeller has signed his contract with Cleveland. He will be playing in the Las Vegas summer league, learning how to work with point guard and ex-Blue Devil Kyrie Irving, while the Cavs save their dollars for less spend off-seasons. Harrison Barnes also won't see his team's roster change much, as they are approaching the luxury tax. (Keep in mind that Jamison is an option, though.) And the Bucks might lose their star forward Ersan Ilyasova to the Nets, which would help John Henson get some playing time, as Milwaukee is lousy with power forwards at the moment.

And there you have it, sixteen Carolina alums' current NBA situation. I can see there being as few as 13 come the start of next season, but more likely 15 will be suiting up. UNC players have 29 NBA championship rings, most of any university, and the last being Haywood's with the 2011 Mavericks. It shouldn't be long before they get number 30.