Today, April 23rd, is the early entry deadline for the NBA Draft. We already know that Justin Jackson will be going to the NBA and hiring an agent, ending his career at Carolina on the highest of notes. Now the Tar Heels wait on decisions from Joel Berry II and Tony Bradley.
A decision was expected from the two on Friday, and that was met with silence. Now the deadline is here and there is still no word from either player. It's easy to believe that both of them would be willing to test the draft waters, even if it meant ultimately returning to Carolina for one more season. No formal announcement has been made, though.
Bradley said immediately following Carolina's win in the national championship that he would be testing the waters, and didn't rule out hiring an agent. It would be somewhat surprising to see Bradley hire an agent after not even starting for the Tar Heels in his freshman season, but if he is ready to start his NBA career regardless of draft position, that may not matter.
I doubt there is anyone out there who doesn't think Bradley could exponentially improve his stock with a year as the go-to guy down low for the Tar Heels, but maybe that is not what is important to him. He hasn't said definitively either way, but it wouldn't be a shock at all to see him declare and not hire an agent. That would allow him to receive the feedback like Jackson got last season before returning for one more year.
Berry is an interesting case, because the draft class is stacked and his smaller stature makes things at the next level a bit murky. He, too, may also want to declare for the draft in order to hear feedback about his prospects at the NBA level before ultimately returning for his senior year. It would be a surprise to see him hire an agent unless he is just over the college experience. That may be the case, but Berry would also have the opportunity to lead his team to a third consecutive Final Four if he returned. Next year's class could be kinder to him.
All we can do now is wait. Carolina is without question a better team if both Berry and Bradley are in a Tar Heel uniform next season. No possible outcome would really come as a shock, but the fact that it's still so uncertain on the day of the deadline is very interesting. What do you think the two guys will do?