Alabama entered Thursday night with three NBA Draft hopefuls, but only JD Davison was selected with the 53rd overall pick by the Boston Celtics. And while neither were drafted, both Keon Ellis and Jaden Shackelford have reached deals with NBA teams to continue their dreams of trying to reach the NBA.
Shackelford signed a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder as confirmed on his social media and later by Alabama men's basketball.
According to Fan Nation's Brett Siegel, it is an Exhibit 10 deal, which means the player is invited to training camp and creates a potential path to a team or G-League roster.
He originally tested the draft waters and eventually entered the transfer portal after his sophomore season before deciding to return to Alabama for his junior year where he would go on to be the Crimson Tide's leading scorer for the second season in a row and join the 1,000-point club.
Even though he was one of Alabama's best players the last few seasons, Shackelford was not projected to be drafted in the two-round draft Thursday night. However, he did work out with several NBA teams before the draft.
The junior guard averaged 16.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and was named to the All-SEC Second Team for the second year in a row. He finished his Crimson Tide career with 83 starts in 97 games played with 1,475 career points.
Both Shackelford and Ellis hope to join recent Crimson Tide players like JaMychal Green and Donta Hall, who went and undrafted, but still made it to the NBA.
With Davison's selection Thursday night, Alabama now has five draft picks over the last five years after having none from 2009-2017.