With the NBA trade deadline having just passed on Thursday, I thought it might be fun to dive into the hypothetical world of if colleges could trade players. Would Roy Williams make a move? Would they continue to put up with Dexter Strickland’s mental mistakes? Would Williams still believe in Brice Johnson enough to keep him around? Most importantly, how much talent could we get in return for Jackson Simmons?
Since UNC only has one legitimate scoring presence on the block, I think Williams would attempt to gain a low-post player. It would be difficult to keep our most talented core of players and get a top tier big man in college basketball. Players such as Cody Zeller and Mason Plumlee (not that Duke would trade him) would cost UNC too much in exchange. There is no doubt that Williams is a great recruiter. I would be willing to bet that he is a great swindler as well. He could find a college program that needs the likes of a Strickland or the shooting of Leslie MacDonald. UNC is a very wing heavy team and could afford to give up one in exchange for a post player to make an NCAA tournament run.
Williams would want to look for a young post player with loads of potential. His best bet would be to score one from a smaller school so that the player would at least stay for 1 year after that trade happens. Joel Wright out of Texas State is a freshman and averages 17.2 points a game. Texas State is not in a power 6 conference, but Wright is no stranger to scoring regardless of the competition. The Heels could use his offense during certain stretches. I’m sure that Texas State would love to have a huge 3-point threat such as McDonald.
Maybe just for numbers sake, we could snag someone that is actually good at shooting free throws. Keith Hornsby out of UNC – Asheville is a 6’1” sophomore guard that is 2nd in the nation in free throw percentage at 93%. No matter what conference you play in, a free throw is a free throw. He has shot 91-97 on the season. Pretty impressive. This UNC team is shooting 65% on the season.
The possibilities are endless when this question is asked and I could go on for ages about what could happen. Maybe Williams would not trade anyone at all. If he recruited them, he certainly has a lot of faith in them. However, with a record of 18-8 and being 5th in conference, which is well below North Carolina expectations, he might be forced to make a move. Who knows? It sure is fun to imagine the current UNC squad with the likes of a Zeller still in baby blue though.