The day that many of us have been waiting for is almost here — the NBA Draft is officially less than a week away, with three Tar Heels predicted to be drafted in the first round. From what we know at the time of writing, Nassir Little and Coby White were both invited to attend the draft live and sit in the green room with approximately 18 other draft prospects. Both White and Little are projected to be lottery picks, while Cameron Johnson is a favorite to get drafted in the late first round.
Over the past couple of months we have taken a look at multiple mock drafts to see where each of these three Tar Heels stand. Now that it is safe to assume draft projections are mostly set, let’s take a look at what the major media outlets project for each player, courtesy of Hoops Hype.
NBADraft.Net: 6th overall (4th overall as of 6/13)
ESPN: 7th overall
The Athletic: 7th overall
Bleacher Report: 7th overall
The Ringer: 7th overall
Rookie Wire: 7th overall
Hoops Hype Aggregate Rank: 7th overall (Chicago Bulls)
NBADraft.Net: 11th overall (9th overall as of 6/13)
ESPN: 11th overall
The Athletic: 13th overall
Bleacher Report: 13th overall
The Ringer: 15th overall
Rookie Wire: 15th overall
Hoops Hype Aggregate Rank: 11th overall (Minnesota Timberwolves)
NBADraft.Net: 32nd overall
ESPN: 21st overall
The Athletic: 23rd overall
Bleacher Report: 23rd overall
The Ringer: 24th overall
Rookie Wire: 24th overall
Hoops Hype Aggregate Rank: 24th overall (Philadelphia 76ers)
When looking at this list, what becomes clear at this stage in the game is that the projections for each player seem more or less consistent. For Coby, every outlet except for NBADraft.net see the dynamic point guard being drafted by the Chicago Bulls. For Nassir, he’s projected to go anywhere between the 11th and the 15th pick, but I’d be surprised to see him still available past pick 13. Finally, Cameron Johnson is a favorite to get drafted by either the Utah Jazz or the Philadelphia 76ers, both teams of which are in the market for a player with his skill set.
Of the three players, Coby White’s situation may be the one that will be the most interesting to watch. For those that do not follow the NBA very closely, New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis will almost certainly be traded at some point this summer, and there is speculation that the Los Angeles Lakers may utilize their assets to obtain him. If that is the case, we could safely guess that they will have to give the Pelicans their 4th overall draft pick, which means their second pick in the draft may hinge more on need than talent depending on who is available at that spot. Given that they have Jrue Holiday, who is one of the better point guards in the league, it’s hard to imagine that they would be in the market for Darius Garland or White, which means Cleveland could ruin either Phoenix or Chicago’s chances of filling in a position of desperate need.
The NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 20th at 7pm ET at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Follow us on Twitter @TarHeelBlog for coverage during the draft, which will include articles for each player as they are drafted. Also, keep and eye out for post-draft analysis, breaking down how each player will be able to fit with their future team.