Monday, June 16, 2008

Some news, but not much

Rumors are rampant that the three will return, but I have just confirmed from a source familiar with the situation that the talk of Lawson staying is hearsay at this point. That's not to say that people don't have other sources, but I'm getting information from a feed atop the ACC in such matters.

Also,, the Web site for the Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that Danny Green is leaning towards a return to Chapel Hill and that his father confirmed that he will be back. Lawson evaded questions pertaining to the subject when reached on his cell phone, and Ellington has not been reached.

Inside Carolina post claims trio will stay at UNC

According to texastarheel15, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Ty Lawson will make an unprecidented return to North Carolina. Personally, I think it's a ludicris claim, but plenty of people cried foul when I broke that Ellington and Lawson would enter in the first place. I hope for the fan in me that this guy is on the money and that his source is legit. For now, though, it's just too good to be true.

Ellington, Green, Lawson yet to make official announcement

The status of Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Ty Lawson is still a secret here in Chapel Hill with no credible sources to confirm one way or the other. There is plenty of speculation, of course. Again, Lawson is finished as a Tar Heel. If he were to return to North Carolina, it would easily be the biggest surprise news regarding the NBA draft that I'm aware of. In my opinion, Wayne Ellington will sneak into the first round and remain in the draft. He'll be one of those guys who sees very little time next season, but there are teams out there, especially late in the first round, in need of a shooter. A place like Boston would fit Ellington nicely, or even a return home to Philadelphia. A year under the tutelage of Ray Allen, it could be argued, may serve him better than a year back at UNC where he's rumored not to be content. Danny Green is the one who would surprise me by staying in the draft. It didn't surprise me that he declared for one reason. When I covered the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Bobcats preseason game at the Smith Center in 2006, it was the opinion of Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood that Green was the most pro-ready prospect on that North Carolina team - one that also featured Brendan Wright. Of course, that was before Wright had a lottery-pick-worthy freshman year, but those are some pretty poignant opinions. What has hurt Green is his injury in the pro camp in Orlando, and presumably his bouts with injury in 2008. I think he's good enough, but I think another year would serve him well in light of this year's thicket of prospects.

Friday, June 13, 2008

UNC trio's draft status...

As I said in a previous post, based on my own instinct, North Carolina guard Ty Lawson is a sure bet to remain in he NBA draft. Guards Wayne Ellington and Danny Green aren't such clear-cut entries, however, and little has surfaced about the two since their declarations to test the water. I know that Green was injured during camp in Orlando, but his versatility is popular amoung NBA scouts. Ellington, in my opinion, has NBA written all over him, just not yet. He's not nearly a good enough defender to guard others at his position and his shots come in waves rather than consistently. That said, I can only speculate at this point, so I'll refrain from doing so. In the meantime, I'll see what I can come up with before an official announcement is made. Keep in mind that the deadline is Monday, June 16. I expect an announcement Sunday evening, based on the way that news publications, print publications specifically, work.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Where there's smoke...

I've kept this thing on a basketball shtick lately, which is weird. But the news that broke about the accusations made by troubled former-NBA official Tim Donaghy that the NBA fixed playoff series' is big news. And while it's gotten quite a bit of press, this blows Major League Baseball's steroids problem out of the water. I mean the parallels are hauntingly similar. Donaghy is, as noted by several outlets, the NBA's Jose Canseco. Shunned at first, Canseco admitted his guilt, then took everybody down with him. Now Donaghy is in the same situation ... only Donaghy has to tell the truth.

Think about it. The only thing that can possibly help this guy is if he tells authorities what he knows. He's under oath. The ONLY thing that can hurt him any more than he's already hurt himself is if he had the nerve to lie. The NBA and it's front office knows very well that the public perception of Donaghy is that he is a no-good liar. That may have been true when he deceived so many in an attempt to pocket some extra cash. But there's no way in hell that this is the only guy involved. NO POSSIBLE WAY! At this point it's tough to say that the NBA had anything to do with it. But at the same time, it's just as tough to think they didn't, as the allegations make perfect sense from a revenue standpoint.

And fixing a playoff series or two is quantifiable. It's not an "Oh, [insert HGH user] hits a few homers or fans a couple more No. 8 hitters every year" type of problem. This is a big, big money problem.

So it all comes back to the Canseco parallel. Donaghy gets popped and takes the heat for everyone involved. Banking on the court of public opinion that the guy's a liar, the NBA pulls a Palmiero, and files suit for a million large. That's about like pointing your finger at a Congressman and swearing you had nothing to do with it. This reeks of a grade school situation when you're caught in a lie and the only way out is to sell that lie with everything you've got. Because whether or not the NBA knew anything about the problem, then what they do know is that a fraudulent outcome to multiple playoff series' and the very altering of NBA history is worth a lot more than $1 million.

Right now, the NBA is all-in. While we don't know how the cards are gonna fall, Mr. Stern ain't bluffin' me.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Relax, I'm back

OK people, sorry for the lack of posts. I know I got famous and all. I used the $6.07 in ad revenue and went on vacation. Actually, I've been working my ass off. That doesn't mean that I don't have anything you need to know. So stay tuned.

Congratulations to the North Carolina baseball team. Third-straight trip to Omaha. I was fortunate enough to follow them there in 2006. Never thought they'd make it in 2007 and would have put money against them doing the same in 2008. Fortunately, a) I never put that in writing and b) they made me look bad, 'cuz let's face it: I like having a reason to watch a baseball game. We'll see how the bracket unfolds, but the way Carolina is playing now, makes them the favorite again if you ask me.

As far as this whole Ty Lawson DWI situation, it's a foregone conclusion now that he's outta here. Of course, we've known that all along. While part of me thinks he's an idiot, there is an even bigger part of me that's a fan. I mean, I don't know a lot about what goes on behind closed doors, but on the floor, the kid can play and will play in the NBA. It sounds as if he's worked his way into the first round and I'm thinking he's gone at No. 20 to George Karl's Denver Nuggets.

But as far as his incident with the law, I've tried to keep things in perspective. J.J. Reddick was arguably the greatest player in Duke history. Same thing happened to him. Now, Lawson is no chump, but he's not the face of the program either. I'm willing to bet that I come from more money that he does (and I don't come from much), and I know for a fact that if I'm about to land in the first round, I'm probably gonna make a bad decision or two. I'd like to think that I wouldn't make that kind of decision, but I can't put myself on the pedestal. The concerns that Ty Lawson has expressed in regard to the treatment he has received since announcing his intentions are perfectly understandable. Why, after all the excitement that he's brought to the program, has the town decided to make a mockery of him rather than wish him well? His indictment did little to support his case, but I understand his frustration.

Ty, get your head screwed on straight and do you.

OK, I'm at work. I'll keep more frequent updates.