North Carolina juniors Ty Lawson and WayneEllington will announce their entry into the NBA draft at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, a source close to the situation told SI.com. Because both players already tested the waters following their sophomore seasons, they do not have the option of returing to school.
Lawson, the speedy floor general for the national champion Tar Heels, is projected to be a first-round draft pick, and likely would have been a first-rounder in 2008 had he not opted to return to school. He was named the ACC's Player of the Year after averaging 21 points and six assists -- with a 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio -- and went on to earn South Regional Most Outstanding Player honors in the NCAA tournament as well.
Ellington, who scored 19 points in the national title game and was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, is not yet a lock for the first round, multiple NBA sources told SI.com. He averaged 15.3 points per game as Carolina's starting two-guard last season.
The two players' departures leaves the Tar Heels extremely thin in the backcourt for 2009-10, with sophomore Larry Drew the likely starter at the point and incoming freshman Dexter Strickland a possible starter at shooting guard.