Friday, April 24, 2009

Ellington, Lawson Bid Farwell

It came as no surprise that North Carolina guards Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington announced Thursday that they will make the jump to the NBA. Well, no surprise to most of us. Ellington's commitment obviously quelled the whisper of that eternal Tar Heel optimist that we all know - all the guys out there that said he might come back because he can't play defense. Nonsense. There are few, if any, in the NCAA who have seen their stock rise more than Wayne Ellington in 2009. Needless to say, both made the right decision. In watching the press conference it was easy to see that Roy Williams was at peace with their decision. That's important when you think back to a year ago, when it became pretty public that there was some dissension in the air regarding the Tar Heels' inner circle and NBA draft statuses.

As we see currently with ESPN force-feeding us Mel Kiper, pre-draft predictions are fun in small doses. But as we inch closer to June it will get annoying, no doubt about it. That said, we'll go ahead and look ahead before we get to that point. has Ellington going in the lottery - No. 11 to the Nets. Another mock has Lawson in that spot and Ellington at No. 30 to the Cavaliers. To me, it just emphasizes how silly it is to think that we have any clue, but I guess it's fun to guess. I think Detroit could be a good spot for Lawson, although I know that he's not a big fan of the city. I don't know how much that might weigh into his decision to sign with them, but it's a tidbit nonetheless. As for Ellington, Phoenix seems perfect. Ellington is better defensively than people give him credit for. Help-defense is an afterthought in the NBA, and his long arms make him a formidable defense presence in 1-on-1 situations, though height (Ellington is listed at 6-foot-4) could become an issue. Still, a team like the Suns would allow him to make the most of his obvious strength - offense.

Regardless, both have lottery potential. It's no guarantee, and the way the chips are likely to fall, it seems kind of a long shot at this point that both land in the top 14. For now, we'll all have to wait until they at least get a workout in before we all claim to have it figured out.

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