Amir Hinton—a Division II basketball player for Shaw University—declared his eligibility for the 2019 NBA draft on Thursday.
"I think the timing is perfect for me," he said, per Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com. "I will be hiring an agent. I am ready. I am going to try and be a lottery pick.
"Some scouts have told me I am a top-three guard in this class," he added.
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic, on the other hand, doesn't have Hinton as a top-100 prospect and broke down the junior guard's game:
Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie
@DraftExpress Hinton has terrific moves off the bounce. Sudden crossovers. Can get to his pull-up. Good scorer. Do worry about elevation on jumper, how long it takes him to load into the jumper. Solid vision for off-guard. Defense now isn’t great, let alone against NBA athletes.
Givony noted that ESPN has Hinton as the No. 49 overall player on its top 100, however, adding that "NBA scouts have told ESPN they are intrigued with his combination of size, athleticism and shot-making ability at 6-foot-5."
Hinton gets buckets, no doubts, after leading Division II with 29.4 points per game. He was also the CIAA Player of the Year. If he were drafted, he'd become the first DII player selected since 2005, when Robert Whaley of Walsh University went No. 51 overall to the Utah Jazz.
For Hinton, getting an invite to the NBA Combine in May will be huge. That would give him the chance to prove he stacks up against future NBA players. For now, scouts and general managers only have tape of Hinton facing inferior competition.
A big performance at the combine could be the difference between cracking the first round and not getting drafted at all.
"Getting invited to Chicago is one of my goals," Hinton said. "That's a perfect place to get exposure, go in and do what I do. I want to play against the pros."