College basketball analyst provides update regarding potential UNC basketball target

Could this talented forward elect not to remain in the NBA Draft and find a new college home for the 2024-2025 season?
Rutgers v Illinois
Rutgers v Illinois / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Former Illinois forward Coleman Hawkins has been solely focused on the upcoming NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-10 forward believes now is the time for him to start a professional career, but also made a rather interesting move when he elected to enter the transfer portal. At the time, this move was viewed as a safety net in case the NBA Draft process doesn't go as planned, but it seems like returning to college for another season may not be totally out of the question.

College basketball analyst Matt Norlander of CBS Sports made a radio appearance in which he discussed Hawkins' future. Norlander had a rather interesting take about Hawkins, one that includes potentially the UNC basketball program.

Check out this clip below:

Norlander lists Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisville and Kansas State (among others) as potential suitors for Hawkins if he does return to the college ranks. He also cites that a big NIL deal would follow Hawkins to whatever program he would choose, and also states that it's "more likely than not" that he does return to college for a fifth and final season.

If he does elect to return, expect the UNC basketball program to be heavy players in his recruitment.

Hawkins would be a tremendous addition for this year's Tar Heels squad, as he would instantly slide in to the "stretch four" position. He's coming off a very strong senior season in which he averaged 12.9 points per game while shooting 45.1% from the floor, including 36.9% from three-point range.

If you've watched Illinois play over the last few seasons, you know that Hawkins is a high-motor guy who can impact the game in a variety of ways. That's exactly what Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels have been looking for in the transfer portal, as Hawkins would be a very good addition to help fill the void left by Harrison Ingram's departure.

The only bad thing with Hawkins is: his recruitment could take a while as he goes through the NBA Draft process. This could hurt the UNC basketball program in regard to identifying other transfer portal options, as it's not a guarantee he would choose to come to Chapel Hill.

However, Hawkins could be worth the wait, as he could easily be the missing piece to what Hubert Davis and his staff already assembled in Chapel Hill.

Stay tuned for this potential recruitment.