Hat tip to Carolina March for this article which evaluates the previous 14 Tar Heels to declare for the NBA draft early. Basically the evaluations are made based on whether the player in questions made a mistake or not going early. Among those who are said to have made a mistake leaving early are: J.R. Reid, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Jeff McInnis, Vince Carter, and Joseph Forte.
I will give you no argument on Forte. As it turns out he is one of the more disappointing stories in UNC basketball history having such an incredible first two seasons only to go pro early and hit rock bottom. Two of the individuals in this group, McInnis and Reid, may have been in Dean’s doghouse. In fact I seem to recall it being said at one point that Dean received assurances from the then Charlotte Hornets that they would take Reid to entice him to leave. McInnis did not seem to be doing all that well after Wallace and Stackhouse left so it was better in terms of the program for him to leave.
As for the other three, I am a bit mystified why they are considered in the “should have stayed” group. Stackhouse was an All-American as a sophomore and SI named him POY. Like anyone else he would have benefited from another year but it is hard to think he made a mistake when he went into the NBA and averaged 19.2 ppg while being named to the All Rookie team. Looking at Carter, I am not sure how you say Jamison was right to leave but not Carter who was Rookie of the Year in his first season in the NBA. The biggest stain on Carter’s record is the fact he tanked half a season in Toronto to facilitate a trade somewhere else which is not a great character move on his part. Statistically he has been better than Jamison and has been a part of more playoff caliber teams. Where Wallace is concerned there may be some merit to the point but at the same time I am not sure another season would have altered his career too much from the path that it took. Wallace may have benefited from a quicker start to his career but I do not know that his maturity level would have been all that improved.
Among those who were “right to leave” no one in their right mind is going to argue with McAdoo, Jordan, and Worthy. Felton had to hit it when his stock was highest. As did McCants and May. If you remove that aspect of it then I would think the latter two should have stayed for the purposes of further development. Williams also had to go because the potential was high and thus far his career seems to be on an upward tick.
It will be interesting to see how it pans out for Brandan Wright. Roy said the Wright could use more physical maturity and strengthening so in respect to that and the fact he is being drafted high on potential, we will not know for a while what kind of decision this was for the freshman.