Compilation: UNC faces in new NBA places
The 2012-13 NBA schedule will be released tonight at 7 p.m. on NBATV. To assist you in viewing that schedule through a Tar Heel lens, we’ve compiled a list of all the offseason movement of Carolina alums. Check back tomorrow, when we’ll have a complete list of the most attractive UNC-related games on the NBA slate.
Harrison Barnes: His summer performance with the Golden State Warriors earned him a spot on the NBA.com Rookie Ladder (you'll also find John Henson on there) ranking the potential best first-year players. He's shown the off-court savvy Carolina fans are well acquainted with. On Wednesday, he went on a social media tour of the Bay area, including a stop at Twitter headquarters. Earlier in the month, he sought out Warriors executive Jerry West--who has one of the coolest nicknames in sports, The Logo--for some advice.
Local reaction (Golden State of Mind): "Barnes did show signs of improvement in summer league and if that is any indication of his work ethic and attention to detail - rather than random variation or simply adjusting to the speed of summer league basketball - there is hope for him progressing beyond the level of a role player."
John Henson: He earned raves in the summer league for the Milwaukee Bucks (he was even selected to the summer all-star team) and has been mentioned among the rookies most likely to see significant playing time. He's back in Chapel Hill now, and took in some Pro-Am action this week.
Local reaction (Brew Hoop): "John Henson's offensive game might be more developed than we thought...The real treat was his hook, which is almost skyhook-ian in its unblockability."
Kendall Marshall: His summer debut was delayed by a game because of a contract holdup. Reaction to his four-game summer stint was mixed. He led the league in assists (6.5 per game) but didn't shoot well. The Suns want him to keep shooting to build some confidence and to take some pressure off his teammates.
Local reaction (Dan Majerle, Suns summer league coach): "He's not going to gain any respect from anybody until he starts shooting those wide open jumpers. For him to get everybody else involved he's got to be more offensive minded because people are going to just sag off him and not help."
Tyler Zeller: The most-repeated word about Zeller's summer performance with the Cleveland Cavaliers was--no surprise here--solid. Like Henson, he's a candidate for big early minutes. On an injury-depleted Cleveland summer team, Zeller earned some of the first plaudits from coach Byron Scott.
Local reaction (Fox Sports Ohio): "Another big man who did a little of everything well, relying on his height and athleticism to score and rebound. Surprised a few with his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. Might take some time to adapt to the pro game, but already well-wounded enough to at least be solid."
Adam says: Barnes is probably the most likely of the quartet to be a Rookie of the Year candidate, but the silliest summer reaction belongs to those in the NBA who were surprised at Zeller's production. Oh, you mean a seven-footer who can run, shoot and rebound has a chance to be effective in the NBA? In a league starved for height, it's a mystery how Zeller fell to the 17th pick.
Who do you think is the Tar Heel most likely to be a ROY candidate? Let us know in the comments.
Wayne Ellington: Traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Memphis Grizzlies.
New home outlook: Ellington was acquired to bolster the Grizzlies' outside shooting. There are other shooting guards on the roster, but if Ellington can knock down shots, he has a chance to earn minutes for an up-and-coming team.
Raymond Felton: Part of a sign-and-trade from the Portland Trail Blazers to the New York Knicks.
New home outlook: Felton had one of his best pro seasons with the Knicks before being traded in 2011. He wasn't especially happy about leaving New York, and now returns to a team that jettisoned fan favorite Jeremy Lin to make room for him (the Knicks also signed Jason Kidd in the offseason). But Felton has returned to Madison Square Garden with plenty of confidence, and looks forward to rekindling his solid on-court chemistry with Amar'e Stoudemire. Notably, he's also lost much of the weight that caused him some problems in Portland. One Tar Heel, Jerry Stackhouse, says the Knicks are better off with Felton than they were with Lin.
Brendan Haywood: The Dallas Mavericks used the amnesty clause on the seven-footer, who was then picked up on waivers by the Charlotte Bobcats.
New home outlook: Haywood is being introduced to the Charlotte media on Thursday. It's a chance to play very close to home for the Greensboro native, and he could also contend for a starting spot with Michael Jordan's club.
Antawn Jamison: Signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he'll play alongside Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.
New home outlook: Not surprisingly, Jamison made a positive first impression with the Los Angeles media on Wednesday. Although it looked at one point like he might join Haywood with the Bobcats, he took a pay cut instead to chase an elusive championship ring. He will come off the bench for a deep Lakers squad.
Jerry Stackhouse: After playing limited minutes for the Hawks last season, Stackhouse was the first of two Tar Heels to escape Atlanta. The veteran signed a one-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
New home outlook: On the court, Stackhouse is expected to contribute mainly from the perimeter. His primary role is likely to be as a veteran in the locker room.
Marvin Williams: Traded from the Atlanta Hawks to the Utah Jazz.
New home outlook: The Williams trade is a boon for Tar Heel fans, who can now watch him play without him being coached by Larry Drew. Williams never felt like a great fit in Atlanta, and a conversation with Roy Williams excited him about the possibility of a new start in Salt Lake City. Williams made a "spectacularly polite" first impression with the Jazz--and also made them a better team.
Adam says: I'm not a huge Kobe Bryant fan, and it's been two decades since I loved watching James Worthy dunk on the fast break for the Showtime Lakers. But I'll admit it--I'll be cheering for them just a little this year, because I'd love to see Jamison get a championship. What do you think--are the Lakers too old to challenge for a title?