Imagine that before the 2018-19 season, I told you that not one, but two UNC men’s basketball players would find themselves as lottery picks in the next year’s NBA Draft.
Now imagine that I told you that neither of them was Nassir Little.
It would’ve been hard to believe. Very hard to believe.
Gotta love draft night.
First-year guard Coby White was the first off the board for the Tar Heels, taken seventh overall by the Chicago Bulls. NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski described White as “perhaps the fastest rising prospect” in pre-draft workouts; in reality, White’s stock has been on an astronomical trajectory since North Carolina’s season began, a year in which he led the Tar Heels in assists and was second on the team in points. Before the year, White was seen as a late first round pick at best.
According to a post-draft statement from Roy Williams, White was also in "serious consideration” for the third, fourth, fifth and sixth overall picks. Not bad for a guy ranked 96th in his high school class three years ago.
Then, in what was considered the surprise of the night, the Phoenix Suns leapt at the chance to take UNC's Cameron Johnson 11th overall. Indeed, though many thought of Johnson as perhaps the best shooter in the draft, he was projected as a late first-round talent, not a lottery pick. White, upon hearing the news, summed the moment up pretty succinctly: “That's crazy. That's so love, bro.”
Hey, at least the Suns know exactly what they’re doing, right?