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Damage So Far

The ACC is going through a major adjustment with a lot of players coming out
early. The damage so far:

  • Rashad McCants
  • Raymond Felton (unofficial)
  • Chris Paul
  • John Gilchrist
  • Von Wafer
  • Eric Williams (who may still be back)

The still-prospective early entries:

  • Shelden Williams
  • Sean May
  • Marvin Williams

Of the three, Marvin Williams has the most compelling case to come out, since
he's generally regarded as a top 3 pick. If the proposed age-limit passes, he
might be forced to play two more years of college ball in N.C. That wouldn't be
ideal for young Williams.

But Sean May may not be far behind. UNC has already lost four
starters, three of whom will certainly be drafted, and one other (Jackie Manuel)
may be as well. If Williams is gone, May's effectiveness will be greatly
reduced. Point guard play is questionable at this point, and with no Marvin to
back him up, May would face double and triple teams. His stock will
probably never be higher than it is right now, and that's a definite argument to

In Shelden Williams' case, there's a lot still unclear as far as the NBA
goes. There are a ton of early entry guys this year, although a lot of
them are guards or small forwards. Plus it's never clear early who from
Europe will be any good.

In Durham, he has the chance to close out more or less the way Sean May did
this season. And with superb passers Greg Paulus and Josh McRoberts
joining the Devils, he ought to get plenty of touches.

Most of the projections we've seen list him at around the 20th pick.
It's never clear who makes the decisions in a mock draft, but what is clear is
that in a real draft, a lot of factors and personalities come into play.
Every year you see some confident young player who was told he would go high
left behind, and then again you also see someone deliberately talked down so
that he will (hopefully) fall in the draft so that the team that wants him can
get him.

There's a lot of gamesmanship and deception involved in the draft, and
players need to realize that. That's why Coach K told William Avery he was
making a big gamble. There were no guarantees.

For Williams, there are no guarantees either. A lot of teams could use
a rugged power forward, but with trades and everything else that happens, you
just don't know. We could see him, for instance, being eyed by Chicago as
a replacement for Antonio Davis, who is getting up there.

The cruelest joke of the draft, though, may be on Chris Paul. Most mock
drafts we've seen have him going to the Hornets to replace Baron Davis, but of
course that's pre ping-pong day.

George Shinn so thoroughly screwed up his reputation in Charlotte that it
drove attendance down for the Hornets and was definitely a factor in their move
to New Orleans. And he's not exactly making tons of new buds down there

Playing for that team is almost as bad as playing for the Clippers used to
be. Good luck to him if he ends up there.

Apparently, there's no love lost for Julius Hodge. About the
devastating fallout from his sucker punch of Hodge's family jewels, he said
this: "Julius Hodge, good riddance. Maybe I will see you next year."

It'd be hilarious if they ended up on the same team.

One final note: Eric Williams is not quite as gung-ho as Thursday's reports suggested. Here's a more tempered article.