UNC Basketball: Stock falling for Tar Heels in 2021 NBA Draft

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Going into this 2020-21 season, the UNC Basketball program had two players that many thought could be first-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. Of the two, guard Caleb Love was projected the highest as a lottery pick.

But with UNC’s struggles both Love and fellow freshman Day’Ron Sharpe have seen their stock go up and down.  Now, with just over a month left in the season both Love and Sharpe are going to need to finish strong in order to get back into the first round if they do declare.

In some latest mock drafts, Tar Heels prospects are seeing their stock fall a bit in terms of the 2021 NBA Draft.  SB Nation and NBADraft.net have all released their updated mocks and big boards over the past week as we started February and it’s not good news for either Love or Sharpe.

SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell left Love and Sharpe out of the first round in his mock while NBADraft.net didn’t have either in their entire two-round mock draft.

There is some good news though as ESPN recently released their big board mock draft and they did have Sharpe going No. 27 overall to the Utah Jazz. Sharpe did see his stock jump a big in January and was projected to go in the first round in ESPN’s previous mock but since then, it’s going downhill for the talented freshman.

Love is averaging just 10.3 points, 3.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 30 percent from the floor in his first season. It’s been a struggle for the talented guard as he’s been both hot and cold for this team.

Meanwhile, Sharpe started the year off strong and showed his raw talent as it started to come together for the former five-star recruit. He’s averaging 9.6 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent from the field. He’s emerged as one of UNC’s best big men but needs to be more consistent to up his draft stock.

This next month will be key for both of these players in terms of if they head to the NBA or return to Carolina for another year. I do expect them to test the draft waters as they could always opted to return even if doing so. That allows them to get some advice on their game from NBA scouts and try to improve as sophomores.

For more on the UNC Basketball program, please make sure to check back with Keeping It Heel.