The N&O gets both the father and the coach to talk about Danny Green’s decision.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams said Sunday he was not surprised by junior Danny Green’s decision to enter his name into the NBA Draft. Green will not hire an agent.
“We’d been talking about it for three weeks, so I’d say no,” Williams said during UNC’s baseball game against Florida State at the USA Baseball Training Complex.
Williams said Wednesday that Green, UNC’s sixth man last season, had not been part of his process of contacting NBA teams to see where his underclassmen might be drafted if they put their names in.
Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough and Wayne Ellington were going through that process at the time.
Asked Sunday why Green hadn’t gone through that process, Williams said: “Just because it sounds like something doesn’t mean it’s true; Danny and I have been talking about it for three weeks; everything doesn’t need to shared. He and I have been talking about it for three weeks, his dad and I have been been talking, and I had been talking to the other teams about it.
“I think there’s some good things about it,” he said. “I think possibly some youngsters could do that when it wasn’t a realistic approach. I don’t think that’s any of our guys, because I think they do have some possibilities, so I have mixed emotions about it. And also, I think the rule is so new … we’ll just have to wait and find out and see what it looks like after this.”
In the meantime, UNC will continue to have a role in the threesome’s futures.
“We’re the only people who can set up the workouts, so we’ll do everything. We’ll first of all try to see about getting them in the pre-draft camp in Lake Buena Vista … so we’ll try to get them set up there, and then after that, there’s a window of about two weeks [where they can set up individual workouts].
“Playing in the NBA has been Danny’s dream for a long, long time,” Danny Green Sr. said in a phone interview. “Most of his class, the Class of 2005, is already playing in the NBA — so why not see where he stands?”
Green joins sophomore teammates Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington as the first players coached by Williams to “test the waters.” Difference is, Williams contacted 18 NBA teams to gather information for the latter two.
Asked Wednesday by The News & Observer if Green was a part of that process, Williams said, “no.” A team spokesman confirmed it again Saturday.
Green Sr. said that his son did mention the NBA to Williams during the coach’s usual end-of-season one-on-one player meetings, when they also talked about the player’s strengths, weaknesses and what he needed to improve for the next season. Green Sr. said he also talked to Williams within the last couple of days to discuss declaring for the draft.
But Green Sr. was not clear about why his son had not been part of the more comprehensive process that Williams had gone through with the two sophomores and junior Tyler Hansbrough (who chose to return for his senior season). Green Jr. was not available for comment.
“Roy was thinking it was a certainty that Danny was coming back,” Green Sr. said. “But we felt it wasn’t a bad decision for him to go through the process and not hire an agent. … [Danny] was one of the top sixth men in the country this year, came up big in the end when the team needed him too … let him compete [against other pro prospects] and see where he stands.”
“I’ve told him, ‘I’ve still got to go to work and pay the bills, no matter what you do,’ ” Green Sr. said. “He’s worked his behind off to play at Carolina, to play for Roy Williams … and every player at Carolina has those dreams to play in the NBA. If he has a chance to realize his goals, why not? If it doesn’t work out this summer, he can return to Carolina … and that’s not a bad scenario.”
Two things before I address the statements.
1. Not to beat the StickerGate horse anymore but do any of those “Roy is disloyal” folks want to comment on his well documented and consistent support of other teams at UNC? It is well know Roy loves to attend UNC baseball games and there he was again today as the Heels won series from FSU this weekend in a battle of nationally top three teams. Seems to me that says more about the man than what he did in San Antonio. And it is nice he actually supports the other programs at his school unlike a certain coach in Durham.
2. The article containing the Green, Sr quotes goes into quite a bit of depth on Green’s draft status and it is not good. In fact he might not even be drafted according to analyst Chris Monter who the N&O talked to about Green’s situation. Monter also said that Green entering into the draft process might be for naught since it is possible he could be excluded from the all important pre-draft camp in Orlando. I find this telling, more on that in a minute.
The statements are mostly consistent since both Green, Sr. and Roy say Green discussed the possibility of declaring with Roy and Roy also talked to Green, Sr. about it. The two statements I find interesting are Green, Sr saying Roy thought for certain Green was returning and Roy saying he was not surprised by the decision adding that simply because something appears one way does not mean that is the case. Obviously a bit of a contradiction raising the idea that a discussion was had and Roy thought the decision was made one way and it ended up going the other. As for Roy not being surprised, that could simply be him not trying to look like he has no idea what his happening with his players.
Taking those two statements together I think this is what has actually happened here. I think Green and his father did discuss the declaring for the draft with Roy and he told them he would make some inquiries. I think Roy did do some checking on it and ended up telling Green and his father basically what Monter said above and that is his status is so low “testing the waters” is a pointless activity from the perspective of improving his stock. Now as I have stated before, I think going through the process is a good move, even if you only do it for the experience. That being said, based on what Roy has said and how UNC operates their pre-draft analysis for their players, entering the draft for the heck of it does not appear to be something Roy agrees with. In fact I am pretty sure he believes the information gathering they do is more the enough for the players to make a final decision on the matter and not test the process to see if things get better. In Green’s case I honestly think based on the manner Roy talked about it and the fact Green, Sr indicated Roy thought Green’s return was certain leads me to believe that Roy advised against “testing the waters” simply because there was nothing to gain from it other than experience(which Roy does not consider necessary.) Green or rather Green, Sr decided to do it anyway so here we are.
I am also taking the other statements by Green, Sr, such as doing it because the rest of his high school class is in the NBA already and the sort of “well why not” attitude lends itself to the interpretation that this was outside the scope of what Roy was really looking at. And yes, I have read enough Roy Williams statements to know when he is covering up a rough patch and that is how his statement on Sunday feels. Especially the whole “everything doesn’t need to be shared” line.
Now, what’s done is done and if Green is serious about heading to the NBA then he will make the decision to return fairly quickly after the draft camp(assuming he is invited) since his best bet is to go pro next season when his stock will be higher from a stellar senior season and the draft will be weaker. From my perspective I think getting the experience is a good idea but only if the players takes the advice to heed and makes a good decision with it. Hopefully Green does that and this is all heading towards all thee current UNC draft testers returning to kick some serious rear end on the way to a potential national title