Sunday, April 27, 2008

GOING GREEN OR STAYING CAROLINA BLUE?

Danny Green was not part of Roy Williams NBA draft research program as the UNC head coach thought his sixth-man was coming back to play bigger role next year. Somewhere between their last meeting and yesterday, the Greens decided to check out the next level.

"Roy was thinking it was a certainty that Danny was coming back," Green’s father, Danny 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."

The trick, though, might be getting that competition. Only 64-66 players are usually invited to the NBA's predraft camp in Orlando, draft analyst Chris Monter said, and with roughly four dozen underclassmen already declared for the June 26 draft, some are going to be left off the list.
Green averaged 11.5 points per game last season for a team that lost to Kansas in the national semifinals. The 6-foot-6 New York native came off the bench to play small forward and power forward -- and became a home-crowd favorite with his pregame "Jump Around" dance.

Still, "he's a second-round pick, at best," said Monter, publisher of College Basketball News. "And with so many other players in this draft, he might not get drafted at all."

Second-round draft picks are not guaranteed contracts, and Monter said that on average, only about half them end up playing in the NBA. Others end up in the NBDL or overseas.

"It might be good for him to get the experience, get some input ... but he'll probably be wise to come back [to school]," Monter said. "Next year's draft doesn't look nearly as deep as this one."


Indeed, some mock drafts for 2009 already have Green penciled in as a low first-round pick, where players are guaranteed two-year contracts worth millions.

Even so, Green's dad said his son's decision to declare has nothing to do with financial reasons, even though he was paroled from prison after serving 22 months on drug trafficking conspiracy charges (he has maintained his innocence), and he has three younger brothers.

"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."

Can’t really argue his point. Just keep up the grades and don’t break any NCAA rules…


(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images and Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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