Two UNC Basketball players projected as first round picks in 2025 NBA Draft

The latest 2025 NBA mock drafts are out- with Ian Jackson and Elliot Cadeau projected to go in the first round.
North Carolina v NC State
North Carolina v NC State / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

The 2024 NBA draft is officially over. After 60 picks over two days, we saw one former Tar Heel get drafted. Harrison Ingram, the six-foot-seven forward from Dallas, TX, was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 48th overall pick on Thursday Night.

Other than Ingram, two other North Carolina basketball talents hoped to hear their names called on Wednesday and Thursday. Armando Bacot went undrafted and was signed to an Exhibit 10 contract with the Utah Jazz shortly after the conclusion of the draft. Sharpshooter Cormac Ryan followed by signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Draft analysts are already working on their 2025 NBA mock drafts, and it looks like next year's draft will have a little bit more North Carolina blue than this year's.

In the latest mock draft by CBS Sports, Adam Finkelstein and Travis Branham predict that two Tar Heels will be selected in the first round of the 2025 draft.

The first is Elliot Cadeau, the sophomore point guard from West Orange, NJ. Finkelstein and Branham have Cadeau landing in Utah with the 17th overall pick in the first round, where his former teammate, Bacot, will hopefully have already made a good impression.

His freshman season didn't see as much scoring as some fans and scouts would have hoped for. Still, it's important to keep in mind that the UNC basketball starter reclassified and played at the D1 level in what should have been his senior year in high school.

Cadeau finished his freshman season averaging 7.3 points and 4.1 assists per game. If he wants to stay this high on draft boards, the pass-first guard will need to slightly improve his scoring numbers in the 2024 season.

The next Tar Heel predicted to be taken in the 2025 draft is freshman Ian Jackson.

The McDonald's All-American has yet to play a single game in North Carolina Blue. Still, his stellar high school career has CBS analysts predicting a late first-round selection, with the 28th overall pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Jackson is already impressing the Tar Heel faithful just weeks after his arrival in Chapel Hill. This clip from one of UNC Basketball's offseason scrimmages has made its rounds across social media and has fans watering at the mouth.

One notable Tar Heel left off this first-round mock is superstar RJ Davis, who decided to return to Chapel Hill for his 5th season. The ACC player of the year and first team all-american isn't receiving much attention from scouts- and after a poor performance in the Sweet 16 against Alabama, where the UNC Basketball season ended, Davis believes he has more to prove.

Despite the absence of Davis in early mock drafts, his decision to return for another season gives the 22-year-old a chance at improvement on what's already been a remarkable college career. 

Looking ahead to 2025, the forecast is promising. With Elliot Cadeau and Ian Jackson projected as first-round picks and a superstar in Davis who could very well sneak his way into the draft boards come 2025, the current Tar Heels seem to have a bright future ahead in the NBA.