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Yante Maten declares for the NBA draft, but leaves open the possibility to return to school

NCAA Basketball: SEC Tournament-Kentucky vs Georgia Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Junior All-SEC F Yante Maten announced today that he plans to go through the NBA draft process, but will not hire an agent to leave open the option of returning to school.

Maten will be able to participate in the NBA Draft Combine, in Chicago in early May, as well as be able to work out for individual teams. Of course, by not hiring an agent, how he pays for travel to and from these events is on him. But this does allow the 6’8 Michigan native a chance to let NBA teams take a closer look at him, as well as get feedback on areas they’d like him to improve should he opt to return to Georgia for his senior season.

Maten will have to announce his intentions before May 24th, that is if he chooses to come back (if he opts to stay in the draft, he can declare that at any time between now and then, or just sign with an agent, which would have the same impact). shows Maten as a second round selection in the 2018 draft, while other websites don’t include him in mock drafts for 2017 or 2018. So there is a strong chance he chooses to return. At 6’8, life in an NBA front court will be difficult as players get taller, longer, quicker, and stronger. But some of his best performances have come against NBA caliber competition, like 30 pts and 13 rebounds against Kansas back in November, and quality performances in his three healthy games against Kentucky over the last two years.

In other men’s hoops news, guard Teshaun Hightower, who committed to the Dawgs back in January, has signed his Letter of Intent to be here this fall. Hightower will join Tyree Crump and Turtle Jackson in the battle to replace minutes left open with All-SEC G JJ Frazier graduating, and be a part of a solid incoming class that includes 6’10 combo F Nic Claxton, son of former big man Charles Claxton, and 6’8 F Rayshaun Hammonds, rated among the top 50 recruits in the 2017 class. Mark Fox still has at least one more spot available for a recruit this spring, if not two should Maten ultimately elect to go pro, with the always interesting graduate transfer market also capable of filling any open scholarships on the roster.