ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Georgia forward Yante Maten is submitting his name for the NBA draft while protecting his option to return for his senior season.
Maten won't hire an agent while testing his standing in the draft, he said Thursday. He has until May 24 - 10 days after the draft combine - to make a final decision on whether to remain in the draft or return to Georgia.
''I have always had the dream of playing in the NBA,'' Maten said in a statement released by Georgia. ''This is a chance for me to safely see where they project me.''
The NBA draft is June 22. The 6-foot-8 Maten averaged 18.2 points and 6.8 rebounds, ranking among the Southeastern Conference leaders.
A key will be if scouts believe Maten can be effective as an inside player in the NBA, as he has not shown an ability to consistently score away from the basket.
Georgia coach Mark Fox said the process allows Maten the opportunity ''to get information from the NBA and get an accurate read on their assessment of him at this time.''
Maten and senior guard J.J. Frazier were Georgia's top players on a team that fell short of its goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament.
Maten, a second-team AP All-SEC team selection, missed the final four games of the regular season with a knee injury. He returned for the SEC Tournament but sat out Georgia's NIT loss to Belmont.
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