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Div. II player Hinton declares for NBA draft

Shaw University junior Amir Hinton told ESPN that he will declare for the 2019 NBA draft and hire an agent, forgoing his final season of collegiate eligibility.

"I think the timing is perfect for me," he said. "I will be hiring an agent. I am ready. I am going to try and be a lottery pick."

Hinton, who is hoping to become the first Division II player to be drafted since 2005, is currently projected 49th in the ESPN Top 100. Hinton's season ended Saturday when his team lost to Virginia State in the CIAA tournament championship game. He had 34 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals, playing in front of 12 credentialed NBA scouts, according to Shaw coach Joel Hopkins.

"All 30 NBA teams have been in to see him this season," Hopkins told ESPN. "Some of them multiple times."

Hinton confirmed as much.

"Some scouts have told me I am a top-three guard in this class," he said.

Hinton led Division II in scoring this season with 29.4 points per game and was named CIAA Player of the Year. NBA scouts have told ESPN they are intrigued with his combination of size, athleticism and shot-making ability at 6-foot-5. Hinton told ESPN he is hoping to be invited to the NBA draft combine in Chicago in May.

"Getting invited to Chicago is one of my goals," he said. "That's a perfect place to get exposure, go in and do what I do. I want to play against the pros."