NC State's Brown, Warren still undecided on NBA future

jgiglio@newsobserver.comMarch 26, 2013 

NC State, Miami, ACC, NCAA

N.C. State's T.J. Warren (24) makes an easy basket in the second half during Miami's 81-71 victory over N.C. State in the semifinals of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum Saturday, March 16, 2013. Miami's Trey McKinney Jones (4) is to the right.


N.C. State could lose as many as three starters early to the NBA draft. The Wolfpack could also get C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown or T.J. Warren back for another season.

The parents of Brown and Warren said Tuesday that no decision has been made about their sons' respective futures. reported Tuesday that both Brown and Leslie, both juniors, were expected to leave for the NBA.

Back in October, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said he expected to lose both juniors after the season. N.C. State went 24-11 this season and lost to Temple in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Brown, a 6-5 point guard, led the ACC in assists, with 7.2 per game, and Leslie, a 6-8 forward, led the Wolfpack in scoring (15.1 points per game) for the second straight season.

Kim Banks, Brown's mom, said she would be in Raleigh this week to talk to her son about his future. She also refuted the CBS report.

"I've seen the rumors," Banks said. "I don't know where they get that from. He hasn't made a decision yet."

Leslie, who almost left for the NBA last April, also seemed to deny the report on his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.

"Who said I was leaving," Leslie tweeted.

Gottfried has previously said he expects to lose both Leslie and Brown, and has recruited accordingly, but Warren's departure would be a surprise.

The 6-8 forward from Durham averaged 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds as a freshman and led the ACC in field goal percentage (62.2). ranks Warren, who started the final 10 games of the season and improved his draft stock in the process, as the best prospect of the three Wolfpack underclassmen.

Warren's dad, Tony, said he has paid attention to the draft projections but that he hasn't talked to his son about the decision.

"If he's a first-round pick, I think it would be a good decision," said Warren, a former Wolfpack player who was an eighth-round pick of the Chicago Bulls in 1979.

But Warren also said he felt his son could be a lottery pick next year after a big sophomore season as the centerpiece of N.C. State's offense.

"It's too early to tell," Warren said. "I want to see what he wants to do. It's up to him but he knows he can play at the next level."

The players have some time to make their decision. The process to enter the draft, get evaluated and return to school has changed in the past two years.

The window to get advice has gotten smaller and the NCAA has essentially eliminated the "testing the waters" process.

The NCAA and NBA have different withdrawal deadlines. The deadline for underclassmen to submit their names to an advisory committee for an evaluation is April 10. The NCAA deadline to come back to school is April 16, but the NBA allows underclassmen until April 28 to withdraw.

"It’s all pretty confusing," Banks said. "We just need to sit down and talk about all the options."

In what is considered to be a weak draft class, projects Brown to be a late first-round pick, as the third-best point guard in the draft. The site has Leslie going in the second round.

Warren is not included in the mock draft but is rated the 31st-best prospect. There are 30 picks in the first round.

First-round picks receive guaranteed contracts for at least two years.

The draft is June 27.

N.C. State has had three underclassmen leave early for the draft since 2000: Josh Powell (2003), Cedric Simmons (2006) and J.J. Hickson (2008). Both Simmons and Hickson were first-round picks.

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