Jaden Shackelford to explore NBA Draft options, but could return to Alabama basketball
Alabama basketball guard Jaden Shackelford, the leading scorer on the 2020-21 Crimson Tide's Sweet 16 team, said via social media Thursday night that he will explore his NBA Draft status but will not hire an agent.
Shackelford made the announcement via his Twitter account.
Shackelford led Alabama in scoring (14 points per game) and made 34% of his 3-point attempts. He was a second-team 2021 All-SEC selection by league coaches.
He has not previously gone through the NBA evaluation process, and by not hiring an agent he retains the option to return for his junior season in 2021-22.
Herbert Jones and John Petty Jr. both tested the NBA waters last season but did not hire agents and returned for their senior seasons.
Alabama coach Nate Oats said Wednesday that he expected several Alabama players to explore their NBA options.
“I would expect some guys to (enter),” Oats said. “Some of our better players that put up good numbers, we’ve had some conversations. They have to put their name in. I’m not going to go through and list everybody, but the guys that put up some of our better numbers. To me, it probably makes sense for some of those guys to test the waters, get some feedback.
“I don’t think it’s the worst thing either. Like, I want guys who want to be in the NBA. So if you want to be in the NBA, let’s get feedback from NBA people. I mean, I can call and get a lot of it my own without them testing the waters, but when they put their name in and test, now they’re able to get more of that on their own. I like getting feedback from NBA guys on our guys. Shoot, it only makes them better for us, too.
“If a guy’s got a guaranteed first-round contract, he probably needs to go. We’re here to make our players better. We’re here to make their future better.”
Underclassmen have a deadline of July 19 to withdraw ahead of the July 29 draft. The NBA draft combine will be June 21-27.
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