The Danny Green Decision

Mountain or molehill?  You decide.

So we all were cruising along on Saturday happy Tyler Hansbrough was returning, willing to wait out Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson as they go through the draft process and feeling pretty good about next season regardless.  Then Danny Green declared for the draft without hiring an agent and all of sudden we were looking at losing three key players instead of just two.

Now, for consistencies’ sake I do not regard the decision to go through the draft process without an agent as a bad idea.  I believe that Green can only benefit from this decision just the same as Lawson and Ellington.  The issue I am wrestling with is the manner of the declaration.  As I mentioned earlier, I had speculated early in the week when Green’s name came up that it was possible he was pursuing the issue on his own without input from the UNC staff and possibly without their knowledge.  The former ended up being correct and  since Roy denied the rumor later in the week we know the latter is also true.

The main problem as I see it is the way this unfolded leads me to believe some kind of break has occurred in Green’s relationship with the UNC staff and also that Green’s father might be driving the bus here.  And far be it for me to judge Green or his father and their intentions but considering the resources UNC has available in vetting this process out why did Green feel compelled to work this without using what the Tar Heel staff can offer?  Either they did it because they wanted absolute secrecy or they did it that way because they did not trust the UNC staff.  It also could be that Green discussed it with Roy in their one on one meeting after the season and Roy told him he should simply look to return.  This would not be consistent with Roy’s stated position that they will do their best to give information to the players and then support their decision.

With Lawson and Ellington, because they relied on UNC for the information I am confident Roy has given them a lot of good information and also had input into helping them make their choice.  The fact the relationship with the staff is fully intact through the process also means Roy should still have input into the final decision.  I also know that the depth of information UNC gathers is far beyond the simple report the NBA advisory committee gives to interested parties.  Roy contacts various teams and uses the Tar Heel contacts in the NBA to get better assessments than the one the general committee gives.  In my mind Lawson and Ellington have everything they need to make an educated decision and based on that they both feel they need to go through the next stage in the process to really see how things shake out.  There is nothing wrong with that given how things work now.

In Green’s case it just seems like he is operating with less information and in terms of influence, it would appear the UNC staff does not have any on the present situation.  Granted family influence is in play for everyone who makes this kind of decision and I have no idea what kind of pressure Green is getting from his family in this regard.  The fact his father’s name popped up in Roy’s statement means he is obviously very influential in this process.  And again not to cast any aspersions in his direction but I think there have been plenty of past cases where players who enter the draft in this manner end up staying in the draft despite the fact their stock is not that great.

That is the clincher for me.  The possibility of a damaged relationship with the UNC staff coupled with a draft process apparently being driven by a family member has all the markings of a situation where the player ignores the expert advice about his own stock and enters the draft regardless.  Then again Lawson and Ellington could very well do the exact same thing despite all the great advice they are receiving but with them there is the feel they went about it “the right way” whereas Green did not in a secretive and distrustful of his head coach sort of manner.

This is all to say that I think all three can benefit from the process but the manner in which Lawson and Ellington went about their draft entrance gives me more hope they will return than the way Green handled his situation.  Yes this is speculation on my part and just a real feeling of unease over Green’s methodology.  And I have no idea who was what agendas and if those agendas are anything other than the player’s best interest.  I hope he does what is best for him regardless of how that impacts UNC.  At the same I just feel like something is amiss here to the point that I actually think Green is less likely to come back than the other two even if his status is not great.

And yes, I would be overjoyed to be completely off base on this one.


38 Responses to The Danny Green Decision

  1. UNCMike says:

    UNC always lands on its feet. UNC is the best place in the country to play basketball and the NBA thing is just going to happen because of the great talent that is recruited to Chapel Hill. I do agree that the Danny Green entry is strange and I get the same feeling as stated above…

  2. Josh Bowling says:

    Great thread THF. I agree. I hope we are all shocked by the beginning of the season that everyone decided to come back and play. However, some on this site have already established & said that we’d be number one in the nation regardless of their decisions, so it probably shouldn’t matter.

  3. chuckheel says:

    I don’t know if this makes any difference or not, but Draft Express’ lates 2008 Mock Draft has Ty Lawson being taken as the 29th pick of the First Round, Ellington as the 10th pick of the Second Round and Danny Green undrafted.
    In their 2009 Mock Draft, they have Danny Green going 29th.
    Unless Lawson, Ellington and Green have an OUT OF THIS WORLD

  4. chuckheel says:

    I hit submit without finishing…
    Unless Lawson, Ellington and Green have an OUT OF THIS WORLD performance at the Pre-Draft Camp, I just don’t realistically seeing any of the three remaining in the draft.

  5. wcb22 says:

    The one point I would add is that if Danny gets drafted or otherwise decides not to return to UNC, all the issues you have described above are his own. However, if Danny comes back, I have to imagine that the relationship between him, his father, and the coaching staff will have to be addressed in some fashion. For UNC basketball fans, this may be the most worrisome part of this year’s draft process.

  6. Rathskellar '68 says:

    With all respect to my fellow commenters, I believe Green is the most likely to be drafted because he is the most athletic and versatile of the three who have declared.

    The next most likely is Ellington, because the NBA is about scoring, and that is his game. He also showed considerable improvement this past season in driving to the basket and finishing. On the other hand, his consistency is not what it could be.

    Most seem to think that Lawson is the most likely to be drafted, but I dissent, at least this year. His gsme is explosiveness to the basket, and he was never fully the same after the ankle injury. His size will make him a liability on defense in the NBA, and finishing his fast-break lay-ups is going to be a lot tougher against NBA-calibre big men then it has been in college. In addition, he is not all that good at running a half-court offense, and his outside shot is inconsistent. Thus, the case for his staying in college to improve these skills is pretty strong. I would rate him somewhat better than 50-50 to be back. The odds are not that good, I’m afraid, for the other two.

    Hansbrough is as admirable a college player as one could find. Still, somebody has to get the ball up the floor. Frasor is a capable player, but no one is a sure bet to come all the way back from a torn ACL, and he is injury prone in any event, so there is reason to worry on that score. The incoming freshman point guard, Larry Drew, is just that — a freshman. With few exceptions, freshmen point guards get eaten alive in the ACC.

    Unless two of the declared three return, I doubt we can be as successful next season as we were this last one. But this should not make anyone less enthusiastic about the team. Hansbrough himself is worth the price of admission. I count myself lucky indeed to have been able to see both him and Phil Ford.

    Bottom line: There’s occasion for worry, but let’s count our many blessings.

  7. 52BigGameJames says:

    if there’s a rift between Roy and DG/Father, you can be sure someone in the media will dig the story out…if it’s just D testing the waters, you’ll hear nothing until a decision comes. I think the latter, else somebody would likely already be on it. If I’ve missed a story, someone please inform.

  8. Except for the fact that it DOES seem as if Danny’s operating outside the UNC protocol, the announcement is not bad per se. Danny is a junior, which means his eligibility is exhausted after next year anyway. By attending the pre-draft camp, he may feel like he can get a better idea of what he needs to work on to improve his stock for next year. If this is all it is, more power to him. I have a bad vibe that this will not end well for Danny. You’d think that with what he’s seen, Danny (and his dad) would be keen for him to finish out his degree.

    How many times of Danny throwing/dribbling the ball away in front of an NBA GM will it take to completely sour that GM on Danny’s pro prospects?

    Go back to school Danny.

  9. Josh Bowling says:

    We are overworrying. Remember, many on this site have already established that we would be number one in the nation next year regardless if the kids come back or not. Just read some of the earlier posts. It shouldn’t matter if they come back or not. This is not my opinion, just reitterating what many have already stated.

  10. jackiemanuel says:

    All three will hopefully need some kind of first round commitment from a team to remain in the draft. If I’m San Antonio or Boston drafting near the end of the first round, I’m not looking for a player to step into the rotation immediately. I’m looking for potential. Danny is 6’5 and could play the 2 or 3. He can jump over Greg Paulus. He has shown the ability to knock down outside shots. He’s long or whatever. Tremendously upsideful potentability.

    It is worrying that Danny went outside for information. Surely Roy was willing to go through the same process for Danny?

  11. Chris says:

    With all due respect, being able to jump over Greg Paulus is not exactly something I would put on my fact sheet. My sister can probably do that. (Johnny Dawkins was announced as head coach at Stanford, by the way) My guess is that Lawson will be most coveted of the three, and he will leave. Ellington and Green return to play another day.

  12. uncgirl50 says:

    Danny’s dad is the reason he is considering leaving. He wants to get his hands on Danny’s money. Someone should tell him he would make much more next year. If he leaves and they still play Jump Around I will cry. Im writing letters to all of them to ask them to come back.

  13. wcb22 says:

    Whatever happens, this will be an interesting year for the “testing the waters” process. It appears that the system is getting somewhat abused by the college players, though you can’t blame them.

  14. DeanForever says:


    Did you happen to say, “we are all overworrying”? Pray tell, dear brother, hast thou turned a new leaf?

    I agree with Josh 100%. A lot of people are all “ew muh gawd!” over this, but this has been discussed for a good two weeks now. I think that we, the bloggers on this and many similar sites, were ahead of the media on this. I have been one of many to profess Danny’s NBA-type skills. I do understand the confusion in all of this. Had he gone through the UNC coaching staff, his stock would be specifically attributed to a draft position. Whoever is advising him must be deluded by visions of Danny actually getting first round money. No way. No chance in hell, buddy.

    In the end, all three will be back in Chapel Hill and by late summer we will be overtly antsy to get the season started. No offense to Butch Davis and staff.

  15. DeanForever says:


    I have to say something here…

    We should/could adivse THF to start a thread titled, “Who couldn’t jump over Greg Paulus?”

    My first three votes are:
    1. Wojo
    2. Chris Collins
    3. John Scheyer (if he could, he would make one hideous face in the process)

  16. wcb22 says:

    Dean: There is a chance Danny simply wants to go through the process to get a head start on the following year. Truth is we don’t know if anyone advised him about “getting first round money.”

  17. DG4heels says:

    Muggsy Bogues would posterize Paulus. That’s sad.

  18. Chris says:

    Dean, I think that would be a good thread. My grandmother should be added to the list, but only after she broke her hip…………

  19. 52BigGameJames says:

    Scheyer? wtf? are you on crack?

  20. C. Gross85 says:

    i really dont understand why every1 is entering the draft. why not hone your skils in college another year. it’s not like most of these players conquered the college basketball world. The nba is not going bankrupt as far as i know so it will be next year… Until Oct. 17th (midnight madness) im not gonna worry bout what the team will look like, im just gonna cheer for the unc basketball team as it stands… BTW i wouldve been great to see Texas vs. unc early in the year with augustin and lawson, abrams and ellington on the court going at each other. we are in the maui invitational together next year.

  21. 52BigGameJames says:

    bottom line: if these players all decide to come back, AND they have the commitment to improve what they need to (individually), then EVERYTHING will fall into place, both individually and collectively. We’ve seen the results when they want to short-cut.

  22. Brian says:

    I almost forgot about this quote…I know it comes directly after Roy says that Danny wasn’t part of the process but maybe he knew a scenario like this might happen…“Let’s put it this way … on Saturday, I was supposed to go on a recruiting trip,’’ Williams told the Rams Club crowd. “I cancelled the recruiting trip, I’m letting one of the other coaches go, just in case somebody needs some more input on Saturday, I’ll be available.”

  23. Jim U. says:

    I agree THF.

    Prediction: Ellington and Lawson return, Green goes.

  24. william says:

    I don’t see anything in the article in the Raleigh paper to indicate that Danny Green is going anywhere. Where is he going to go? Europe? I also don’t see any downside in his testing the waters.

    Reading between the lines, what I believe happened is that his “testing the waters” creates extra work and headaches for Williams and his staff, and they hoped to not have to go through it with a third player, but given that Green is already a junior, what is the downside for him to check things out. He probably is not going to be invited to many workouts and will quickly understand that he will have a better chance next year.

    I also do not see any lack of lucidity on the part of Green’s father as detailed in the article. If I had had the chance to do sign up for some early interviews after my junior year, I think I would have taken the opportunity too.

    A lot of you guys are forgetting about Roy recruiting under Danny which cost him a lot of playing time last year, so it works both ways in terms of loyalty. Roy is loyal to his players and his players are loyal to Roy and the university, but ultimately, Danny’s testing the waters is no different than Roy recruiting Ellington and Lawson when he already had Green and Frasor. That is just the way things are done, especially now since the top, top players generally stay only 2 years at most.

  25. wcb22 says:

    Another take on this is that Danny could have been the most loyal person the team, and decided that he wouldn’t bother testing the waters if everyone else was coming back for a championship run. When Ty and Wayne finally decided to test the waters on Friday, Danny might have thought to himself, “if they can do it, why can’t I?”

  26. Josh Bowling says:

    Funny but good post DeanForever. I am always in a state-of-worry concerning UNC basketball. But I always have fun as well. I have always loved the tradition here and want to see it succeed. That is why I worry as well sometimes. Just based on the premise of mostly everyone on this site saying we will be a number one team without those three, then why should I worry? They can go for all I care if everyone is convinced they will win the title without them anyway. Of course, I know I stated earlier that I thought w/o Lawson, Ellington, an Green we would finish 4-5 in the ACC, mainly because that is what most Chapelhillians think they’ll finish. People on this site think they can and should win the title w/o those 3, and as one fan pointed on this site pointed out, Tyler wouldn’t have come back unless the chance was as good to win the title again. My feelings are that we will be somewhere in-between what fans outside of this site think and fans within this site think. I am definately looking forward to next year even if those boys are gone. Tyler can do a lot of damage all by himself, and with freshman, I always love to see what the new kids can do. Keep up the good post as I enjoy hearing what all of UNC fans think, and desire for UNC!

  27. I believe it is a very possible scenario for Danny to have a good showing in Orlando at the pre-draft camp and be chosen near the end of the second round. I also believe that he would take bottom second round over returning to UNC for another season.

    Question. Does Roy now work the phones for Danny and see if he can get a feel for how high he may go, or does he stay out of it altogether?

  28. […] The Danny Green Decision Mountain or molehill?  You decide. […] […]

  29. TxTarheel says:

    Here’s a welcome diversion to the “sackcloth / ashes” and “gnashing of teeth” as we only have 6 more weeks of waiting to see who shall return. Came across on the SI website…their Vault selection seems pretty cool. The link is a story from November 1983 by Curry Kirkpatrick…good read / good times.

  30. Josh Bowling says:

    One more thing we need to say about Hansbrough. He will be equally as good in the NBA because they allow one more step.

  31. JWhite says:

    First let me say that I am, and always will be, THE Carolina Fan. I have rituals for game days/nights, have brainwashed my kids, etc. Anyway, I understand what Ty and Wayne are doing. Danny is another thing. Personally I believe that all 3 should stay in school – that’s not THE Fan talking, it’s just an observation from a basketball fan and player. Each good in their own right, but not ready for the big show quite yet. I just don’t believe that the NBA brass has enough confidence in Ty’s ankle yet. Or in Wayne’s consistency. And they simply don’t know enough about Danny. Some day they will all be reliable and fundamentally sound players in the NBA. I think Danny may have gotten his feelings hurt, to be quite honest. And to be honest any of us probably would have too. Just take a minute to think about it and you’ll understand what I’m saying. I, too, am always in a shambles as to the state of our team – always have been, always will be. Anybody see Tyler give him a hug and smack on the head for me. Peace.

  32. JWhite says:

    Just a note: I hit submit before saying that I believe Ty and Wayne are 65/35 to come back and Danny is 70/30 to leave. Just a feeling.

  33. THANK THE PASSER says:

    Can Danny handle coming off the bench for the 4th year in a row if Wayne comes back? Does anyone think he’s waiting to see what Wayne does?

  34. DoubleH says:

    ok… im not saying this as a fan im saying this as an outsider… none of them are ready, plain and simple. i think that lawson has more to gain since he had a chunk of season taken away. also, wayne is still a little inconsistent. but i think that ty and wayne are a package deal. either they both go or they both stay. but i dont know what to think about danny.

  35. NYC says:

    I have heard from people in the area of what happened during Green’s one-on-one meeting with coach Williams. Danny asked if he could start next year and the answer was no. Then he asked if he outplayed everyone in pre-season and the answer was still no. Why would someone want to play for a coach who will not reward his effort and acknowldge his better play with more playing time. It is for you Tarheel fans to decide this

  36. brandon says:

    i disagree, not even in the ball park

  37. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Danny has been in Chapel Hill for three years and probably knows better than to ask Roy if he can start. I was not in the room so take it for what it is worth but I find it hard to believe he asked that question and was given a definitive answer considering no one knew for sure what the other three players were doing about the draft. That point pretty much answers the 2nd question but even if we assume everyone is coming back I am not sure Danny still has a spot in the starting lineup since he cannot play guard and Ginyard is the better defender.

    In other words, I rate that rumor on the same level I do message board chatter.

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