UNC's top 10 draft picks since '98

Former Tar Heels Vince Carter, Ty Lawson and Antawn Jamison all have thrived in the NBA. Getty Images

The North Carolina men's basketball program, as much as just about any other in the country over the past couple of decades, has churned out pro players like a machine. Though the talent of the current team (watch No. 19 UNC versus NC State on ESPN3 at 8:00 p.m. ET) might not be what it has been in past seasons, the Tar Heels' program has been very successful in terms of developing NBA-caliber players.

In total, North Carolina has had 16 players drafted in the first round since 2001.

Here are the top 10 North Carolina draft picks currently playing in the NBA. The criteria included a combination of production, potential and also expectations based upon draft spot.

The top spot was a lock, but it wasn't quite as easy trying to differentiate the other players. Raymond Felton's numbers might suggest he should be higher (his legal problems notwithstanding), but his career has fallen quickly while Harrison Barnes' stock will continue to rise.

Former Tar Heel P.J. Hairston is a 2014 draft prospect and is currently playing in the D-League. Like Glen Rice Jr. in 2013, Hairston certainly will be drafted this year and has a chance to crack the top half of this list in time. I had him going No. 19 to the Boston Celtics in my Feb. 12 Mock Draft.


1. Vince Carter, Dallas Mavericks

Drafted: No. 5 in 1998

Carter was drafted by Golden State and traded to Toronto -- where he established himself as one of the elite players in the league. Carter was the Rookie of the Year in 1999, won the slam dunk title and has a gold medal on his résumé. Carter is an eight-time NBA All-Star who has been a role player the past few years with the Mavericks. The likely Hall of Famer has to top this list.