UVA's De'Andre Hunter Confirms He'll Enter 2019 NBA Draft, Sign with Agent

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 15, 2019

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 22: De'Andre Hunter #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers celebrates after a play in the second half against the Gardner Webb Runnin Bulldogs during the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 22, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

De'Andre Hunter is capping off a successful season at Virginia by declaring for the 2019 NBA draft.

Hunter announced Monday on Instagram he decided to forgo his final two years of college eligibility to turn pro.

"Being at the University of Virginia has been an amazing experience," he wrote. "From being a redshirt to winning a national championship, the journey has been unbelievable. I want to say thank you to Coach Bennett and the coaching staff for challenging me everyday to become not only a better basketball player but a better man off the court. I am forever grateful for them."

He also confirmed he intends to hire an agent, however, NCAA rule changes allow him to retain his eligibility if he goes undrafted, so long as he participates in the combine.

Hunter has been the most valuable player for the Cavaliers during his two seasons at the school. He came off the bench as a freshman, averaging 9.2 points and shooting 38.2 percent from three-point range. 

After Hunter broke his wrist during the ACC tournament, Virginia struggled to produce offense and became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed in the NCAA tournament with a 74-54 defeat against UMBC. 

Returning for his sophomore campaign, Hunter became the focal point of head coach Tony Bennett's offense en route to winning the national title. The Pennsylvania native tied for the team lead with 15.2 points, finished second with 5.1 rebounds and shot 43.8 percent from three-point range. 

Hunter was also named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and the All-ACC first team. His improved performance led to a significant rise in his draft stock. 

B/R's Jonathan Wasserman has the Virginia star ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect in his most recent mock draft.

"Not much about Hunter's game or creativity is flashy," Wasserman wrote. "But the Atlanta Hawks could value his high floor and fit as a three-and-D combo forward. He could play the 4 with John Collins at the 5, or Atlanta could use Hunter as a perimeter stopper at the 3."

Given Hunter's skill set, he has all the makings of a three-and-d stud in the NBA for a long time. He's going to be an excellent role player wherever he goes, with the potential to play above that as he continues to develop.

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