With just over 24 hours remaining for Tony Bradley to decide whether he will return to North Carolina for his sophomore year or stay in the NBA Draft, rumors are circulating that he will not be coming back to Chapel Hill. Bradley has previously stated he wanted a first round guarantee in order to pass up another season at Carolina.
Bradley still has workouts planned for NBA teams right up until tomorrow’s deadline. He worked out for Milwaukee on Tuesday, and will work out for Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Bradley reportedly told the media that his decision has pretty much been made, although he declined to say what that decision might be.
According to Bradley, teams have told him that he should expect to hear his name late in the first round. That doesn’t exactly jive with mock drafts anywhere with most of them projecting him somewhere around the 40th pick. Unless teams are telling him something dramatically different than what even the most connected sources believe, such as Adrian Wojnarowski, the first round seems unlikely.
Continue to hear, via multiple sources, that North Carolina’s Tony Bradley leaning towards keeping his name in for the NBA Draft.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 23, 2017
If the rumors that Bradley is leaning toward staying in the draft are true, then it’s pretty safe to assume that his top priority was making it to the NBA as quickly as possible. Yes, he almost certainly could dramatically improve his stock with another season in Carolina blue, but perhaps that was not his greatest concern.
In the last few days, Bradley has been openly marketing himself to potential teams. He said that he believes he’s a stretch 4 at the next level, and says that he can step out and shoot the 3 in a way that he wasn’t able to show at UNC. All that campaigning is to be expected, but it’s at least worth wondering if he’d need to do that as much if the feedback was what he wanted it to be.
Should Bradley decide to stay in the draft, Carolina would be fairly thin in the post for next season. For a team that was so heavily reliant on rebounding domination on their way to the title this past season, it would be a fairly significant blow.
Perhaps these last few workouts give Bradley some information that makes him want to return for one more season as a Tar Heel. Maybe a team tells him something close enough to what he wants to hear that convinces him to stay in the draft. Either way, we’ll know for sure very soon.