Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

UNC's Tony Bradley Contemplating NBA Future

Freshman big man will consult with family and Roy Williams before making NBA decision.

Tony Bradley isn't going to rush anything. There will be a time to figure out his NBA future, but not today, his father Tony Bradley Sr. told Inside Carolina on Tuesday.

First, Bradley and his family want to celebrate North Carolina's sixth NCAA championship.

"It's still unreal, it's something else," Bradley Sr. said. "I didn't get much sleep last night. I'm so excited about it. My son is a national champion."

Bradley had five points and seven rebounds, while logging 18 key minutes when Kennedy Meeks was battling foul trouble in UNC's win over Gonzaga. He drew the fifth foul on Gonzaga freshman Zach Collins that helped UNC control the paint in the final minutes.

"His jumper wasn't working like we wanted it to," explained Bradley Sr. "He did some nice moves, got rebounds, ran the floor well and played some good defense without fouling. I think it was a good experience for him and we saw that the stage wasn't too big for him."

"The closer they got to the title, the more and more Tony was excited about helping out the team," he continued. "He wanted to go all out, because this was the NCAA tournament and the Final Four. I really feel like he stepped up while Meeks was in foul trouble."

The ability Bradley showed in spurts as a freshman, plus his willingness to come off the bench and do what his team needed, has gotten the attention of NBA scouts and player personnel departments. He's a fringe first-round pick in some NBA mock drafts because teams love his length, ability to run the court and potential.

With NCAA rules allowing players to enter the draft, workout for teams and receive feedback as long as they don't sign with an agent, the move makes sense for underclassmen who feel they have a NBA future. Justin Jackson and Kennedy Meeks, two integral parts of UNC's 2016-17 title team, declared without an agent last year. They've discussed many times how invaluable the experience and feedback were to the development of their game.

Bradley told Aaron Beard of the Associated Press in the postgame locker room on Monday night that he will enter to test the process. According to his father, that decision has not yet been made.

"We have not discussed that [declaring without an agent]," said Bradley Sr. "We definitely will consider it. That's something that's only right, to see where you are. A lot of mock drafts and people are saying good things about him. We want him to get some feedback to see if it's a good opportunity for him to leave or come back and get ready for next year."

"I think, if he tests, he'll do well in individual workouts because they have not seen some of the things that he can do, that he didn't have to do at Carolina. I think it would really open some eyes to see that he's more gifted and talented than they thought. We're going to talk as a family and then talk to Coach. I believe in protocol. We'll talk as a family, talk to Coach Williams and then go on from there."

The NBA's early entry deadline to declare is April 23, and the withdrawal deadline follows on June 12.


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