Tony Bradley tests stock; declares for the NBA draft

Tony Bradley tests stock; declares for the NBA draft

Reserved center Tony Bradley has officially entered his name into the NBA draft. The freshman forward will not hire an agent leaving the possibility he may return to North Carolina for his sophomore season.

Bradley played limited minutes in his lone season as a Tar Heel but displayed a tremendous amount of efficiency and effectiveness when given the opportunity. Most NBA mock drafts have Bradley ranked as a top 45 prospect in this years draft.

UNC's Bradley to test NBA draft waters after title win
AP/ David J. Phillip
Having only played 14.6 minutes a game, Bradley still recorded 7.1 points per game and 5.1 rebounds. He shot 57.3% from the field and 62% from the foul line. The free throw percentage is encouraging sign and the 6’10 big man showed capabilities of stepping out and hitting 12-15 foot jumpers throughout the year.

With more practice and NBA coaching, Bradley can become a 70 plus percentage shooter from the foul line. Which would help his biggest asset.

Bradley’s strength is his ability to grab offensive rebounds. His long reach allows him to snatch the ball over defenders. Bradley does an excellent job of keeping the ball high and using a soft touch to finish the play.

Bradley also displayed great patience with ball and solid footwork to finish around the rim. Check out this play on an entry pass against Oregon in the Final Four match up:

giphy

Bradley does a nice work of using his body to shield the ball from the defender and elevating for an easy lay up.

His defense needs to be improved upon but his 7’4 wingspan will allow him to be a factor in passing lanes.

If Bradley departs to the draft, it would leave a huge hole in the North Carolina front court. Bradley was slated to take over the starting center position for the upcoming year.

Luke Maye is now the only rotational big returning from last season’s National Title team.

North Carolina has four star center Brandon Huffman and three star recruit Sterling Manley to fill in Bradley’s gap.

Incoming four star power forward Garrison Brooks should be able to fill into the rotation as well.

Bradley may well of coarse return for his sophomore season to try and become a lock for a first round selection in the 2018 draft. However, being a top 45 prospect and possessing the amount of upside he has, it is likely a team will draft him higher than expected. In a draft that does not have many centers available, Bradley is a nice reward for a team picking late in the first round and early second round.

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