Stock Watch

Where are the three UNC players rating at right now in terms of draft stock according to Draft Express.

Ty Lawson

Draft Express Mock Draft: 29th pick overall
Draft Expresss Position Ranking: #5 among PGs

Ty Lawson in all likelihood would be in the 25-30 range if he chooses to stay in this draft.  The PG ranking actually surprised me since he is slotted above Mario Chalmers of Kansas who is sixth.  Lawson is facing a handful of questions.  The first is whether the ankle is good enough to really show his skills and when I say really show his skills I am talking about this right here:

Granted that came against a mid-major team but you can see what Lawson brings to the table.  The question is whether he can do that in Orlando with the ankle still healing.  The second question is whether he wants to make a low first round salary now or a higher first round salary next season.  There is obviously risk in returning but if it is a question of money and how much, he might opt to return.  The final question is whether or not he considers being drafted by a current playoff contender is better than going to a team with present struggles.  If Lawson feels he can make an easier transition to the league playing for an established team which has a cache of experienced players to work with and a good coaching staff then he might be content to make the jump now rather than “risk” being drafted into a bad situation.  The flip side to that is playing time and having an opportunity to make an impact which helps you in terms of your more lucrative 2nd contract.  Playing for a developing team would yield more playing time and possibly more production that can be used to secure a better pay day down the line.

Wayne Ellington

Draft Express Mock Draft: 40th pick overall(10th of the 2nd round)
Draft Expresss Position Ranking: #7 among SGs

The conventional wisdom upfront is that Ellington should return since he is most likely stuck in the 2nd round in this very deep draft.  It really does not move much beyond that.  No one questions his ability to shoot the basketball but they have issues with his size and his ability to score or create his own shot.  Ellington is not a strong player and his ability to drive the lane and score under duress is not anything to write home about.  That being said he is close enough to the first round to have legitimate hope he can raise his stock by having a great camp in Orlando.  The issue is it would have to be a really good game, probably beyond what we have seen so far at UNC.  I just do not see that happening and he is obviously better off simply gleaning the experience and some ideas on how to improve his game before heading on back to Chapel Hill.

Danny Green

Draft Express Mock Draft: NOT LISTED
Draft Expresss Position Ranking: #10 among SFs

The Draft Express Mock Draft does not list Danny Green in either the first or second round.

Let that sink in for a moment.

This fact alone is why Roy probably told Green and his outspoken father to shelve the NBA idea for this season because it really does not matter if he declares, there is a possibility he might not be drafted.  Apparently Green and his father are more inclined to find this out the hard way.  When you look at the current mock, the problem is there are very few players with Green’s size being drafted at all much less in the 1st round, especially when you are talking about SG/SF.  OJ Mayo is 6-5 and listed at #5 as a PG/SG combo and you have to go all the way down to #28 to find the next player that fits Green’s mold in the form of Courtney Lee from Western Kentucky.  In between you have Chris Douglas-Roberts(Memphis), Brandon Rush(KU), and Chase Budinger(AZ) listed as a SG/SF combo but they all three happen to be two inches taller.

Green’s stock is not just bad, it is almost non-existent despite ESPN.com’s Chad Forde sniffing glue and saying Green might work his way into the 1st round.  Really?  He also might not get invited to Orlando which means he has zero chance of getting into the first round.  Now understand I am not bashing the decision to test the draft and see how he stacks, I am simply painting a picture of how far down he is in the minds of most experts.  In fact Anxious Tar Heel does a nice job of comparing Danny Green to two previous ACC prospects, D.J. Strawberry and Reyshawn Terry and how they fared from being at the bottom of the 2nd round:

DraftExpress has Danny ranked as the #10 small forward prospect in the draft, which, considering the depth of this year’s prospects (sharks) would place him, I believe, near the bottom of the second round.

Let’s look at two players who were picked near the bottom of the second round in 2007 and see where they are now.

DJ Strawberry (6’5″/201 from Maryland)
Picked 59th by the Suns, Strawberry managed to sign a two-year $1.4 million contract with them before being reassigned to the NBADL in December of that year. In January, 2008, he was called back up to Phoenix. He plays 8 minutes a game and averages 2 points. This is a success story for low second round picks, and DJs athletic ability is what allowed him to get even this far, as he was tested as the best athlete overall in last year’s pre-draft camp in Orlando. NBADraft.net rated DJ an 89 out of 100 prior to the draft. Only the first year of Strawberry’s contract is guaranteed, or about $430,000.

Reyshawn Terry (6’8″/232 from, well, you know)
Reyshawn was drafted 44th by the Magic, and then traded that day to the Mavericks. Never making the Dallas roster, Terry now plays for Basket Aris in Greece, averaging 9 points and 5 boards. The Mavs still hold Terry’s NBA rights should they be interested in signing him in the future. NBADraft.net also rated Reyshawn an 89. Based on Euroleague salaries, it would be consistent for Reyshawn to be making $300,000 this season.

Both of these players are more athletic than Danny at this point in time, and were better prospects coming out of college than Danny as well.

The point is Danny Green is fine to use this time out as an experience and more power to him as he tries to make himself a better player. My biggest fear is he will have limited opportunities to workout for teams or he will not see that much movement which will lead to a statement from Danny Green, Sr saying they feel they need an agent to really bolster Green’s propsect and that will be all she wrote for his college career.  It might not happen but I would not be shocked if it did.

As I said in reference to Lawson and Ellington, if they return and are motivated to get better it only makes UNC better as long as what they do is executed within the system.  The bottom line is in Green and Ellington’s case they really should be looking at this purely from the perspective of getting an idea of where they stand and gaining some experience in the process.  Ellington could sneak up but I think that is really unlikely whereas Green just does not strike me as being able to climb the ladder quick enough to justify leaving.  With Lawson, it boils down to choices based on the money and his desire to play in the NBA now or do one more year of college.

Only another six weeks to think about it folks.

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17 Responses to Stock Watch

  1. Johnny says:

    I expect all of these guys are hoping for a J.R. Smith kind of showing at the camps. I remember watching Smith in the All-American game and with every shot he hit I had the feeling it was less and less likely he would be at UNC. (It still pains me to think about the Georgetown game and how great a shooter like Smith would’ve been to have then.)

  2. william says:

    Lawson should just put the Kansas game on a tape loop and watch it for a few days. If he had trouble handling the ball and couldn’t get his shot off against a college team, what is going to happen when he tries that stuff in the NBA? He is 5′ 10″ at best and needs to learn how to play within himself. Kenny Smith stayed four years and it certainly didn’t hurt him and Ty certainly has not reached the Kenny Smith-level thus far. Two more years and he might.

  3. Josh Bowling says:

    That’s right Johnny. I really do wonder if the players coming back would strick dischord with team chemistry. It very well may not, as even freshmen play the game to increase draft stock, most of them anyway, but you know that a freshman is more likely to adapt to a coach and his desires more so than a sophomore/junior who is playing for nba potential only.

  4. Josh Bowling says:

    Best post in regards to this William.

  5. Johnny says:

    I don’t expect returnees to have any chemistry issues. These are all good kids who understand that a couple of the guys have a great opportunity. To be honest, given the new rules, you have nothing to lose by testing the waters unless you’re already a sky-high prospect and could hurt your status. (I just read Andy Katz’s column and Lute Olsen essentially says you’d be crazy not to test the waters too.) I have no doubt the team would be thrilled to see Ty return. It will be over and done with before these guys are done with summer break and I just don’t see this as a loyalty/disrespect issue.

  6. wcb22 says:

    I disagree william and Josh – why is it important for Tywon to watch the Kansas game? He is not the one doing the drafting. If an NBA takes a chance on him in the 1st round, that is their problem. Don’t forget, the NBA will draft on POTENTIAL, not just proven ability.

  7. wcb22 says:

    Just found a good article on draftexpress explaining the testing the waters process in a little more detail. It was written before anyone had declared, and had some interesting predictions which seem to have come true.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/article/New-NCAA-Rule-Permits-NBA-Teams-to-Pay-for-Underclassmen-Workouts/

  8. THF, do you know when Danny finds out if he can participate in Orlando?

    Humbled you would include my thoughts in your well-said summary here.

  9. Tar Heel Fan says:

    wcb,

    Good catch. The interesting note on that article is the fact no one can do private workouts until after the draft camp which leaves teams two weeks to run players they are interested in through. Given the number of players involved and the limited time plus the fact it will cost the teams money to bring players in, I see a scenario where NBA GM’s will be very focused and particular on who they bring in. They will probably only want to spend time with guys who they know are locks as well as guys who they know are serious about staying in the draft i.e. ones that have agents already. Given where Green and Ellington are at in particular, if they are sitting roughly in the same position after the camp they might as well make up their mind because I am betting they do not sniff a private workout unless the make the decision permanent since teams will not want to pay for players who might be leaning towards a return.

  10. Josh Bowling says:

    THF, I think the posts on this site have been great during and after season. I know some among us think that the quality of posts have declined after season, but WE needed some checks & balances to our posts on this site. I think it opens the door to deeper & more philosphical debates on UNC issues. I have really enjoyed the posts, even at the expense of my arguments being debated and even reputed in many cases. If we shut people up who disagree with US, then we have rid ourselves of true checks/balances to our arguments & debates on this site, and our arguments may even become stale because we are not used to defending OUR positions. This gives us a great opportunity to fine tune our thinking on some things. BTW, as a Tarheel fan, I think the likability of some posts have declined, because I love UNC and I don’t like it being bashed.

  11. wcb22 says:

    I agree with Josh, except that the “jayhawkstickerfan” guy was just trying to incite violence.

  12. DeanForever says:

    THF-

    Thanks for providing the info on the boys’ draft status. Where do you think Tyler would have been? 26th, 27th? Thank goodness we’ll never know (in regards to this year).

    I love that kid.

  13. FYI, DraftExpress has an excellent breakdown of historic and projected lottery and overall first round selections by position and class that is worth checking out.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Breaking-Down-the-NBA-Draft-by-Positions-and-Draft-Class-2152/

  14. DeanForever says:

    Anxious-

    Excellent link. Once again, I think the verdict is split on Lawson:

    While “point guard premium” may not appear to be trending dramatically higher on this graph, keep in mind that most were expecting underwhelming point guard draft classes in both 06 and 07. Both drafts have turned out their fair share of floor generals, and 08 looks like to be one of those historic bumper crops, rivaling 04 and 05’s previously unprecedented point guard classes. Furthermore, several floor generals that could have contended for a spot in the late first round chose to return to school.

    And this telling analysis:

    Sophomores aren’t drafted very often, as many players are either talented enough to leave at first chance or end up taking three years to develop into draft-worthy prospects. Sophs that do get picked in the first round generally go fairly high, but a so-so to begin with 2007 sophomore crop was depleted quite dramatically due to early entry directly out of high school and has been quite overshadowed by the excellent classes both preceding and following it.

    So, what does everyone think about this information (in relation to Lawson’s status)?

  15. 52BigGameJames says:

    spot on! very good point on Soph’s.

  16. wcb22 says:

    From what I can gather, Lawson’s pure speed will be an asset in the NBA, but his shooting is not yet NBA quality. His decision making seemed to be greatly improved this year, though he was never quite back to form after the injury. I believe these detractions are why some mock drafts have him as a late first round pick.

    Somewhat coincidentally, Felton had similar issues after the 03-04 season. He chose to come back to school and work on his jump shot over the summer. This vaulted him to the #5 pick, of course.

    The question about Lawson is whether he is going to use the testing the waters process to begin improving his game, a la Felton? Or, will he be satisfied going into the NBA as a late first round pick?

  17. Josh Bowling says:

    WCB22, thanks for that rare agreement, not from you, just in general. I really appreciate it!

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