Georgia State’s Hunter to decide about NBA soon

Georgia State coach Ron Hunter said a meeting with son and standout player R.J. Hunter went well on Monday as they begin discussing if he will leave school for the NBA.

Ron Hunter declined to provide any more details. R.J. Hunter said on Saturday that he will take between 2-3 weeks to decide.

The Panthers’ season ended on Saturday with a loss to Xavier in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Hunter, a junior, was projected to be a first-round pick in the NBA draft before this season. That projection hasn’t changed after Hunter averaged 19.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in leading the Panthers to Sun Belt’s regular-season and tournament titles. A 6-foot-6 guard, Hunter was also selected the conference’s player of the year for the second consecutive year.

Hunter has until April 26 to declare and submit the paperwork to the league. Should Hunter decide to go pro, Ron Hunter said he hopes his son will declare by April 14, which would give him almost four weeks to prepare before the NBA workouts for draft-eligible players begin in Chicago on May 12.

But Ron Hunter stressed that he has no idea what R.J. Hunter will decide.

“He may say he just wants to come back,” Ron Hunter said.

Hunter has already taken several steps to help R.J. with the decision.

An insurance policy was taken out before this season through the NCAA, and will be renewed in August should Hunter return.

Ron Hunter said he met or spoke on the phone with between 15-20 agents without his son before the season. He said he took that step so that R.J. could focus on his junior season. Hunter said they will narrow the number of possibilities to less than five and then decide should an agent be needed.

Ron Hunter said he planned to complete the underclassmen evaluation form to send to the NBA on Monday. He said expects to receive that form back next week.

There are factors that Ron Hunter said make him nervous. Just five seniors were selected among the 30 picks in the first round of the draft last year and three in 2013.

It’s thought that the NBA teams often draft on potential, rather than the results and the longer a player stays in school the more time scouts have to pick apart a player’s weaknesses. Plus, only first-round picks receive guaranteed money.

But Hunter said the decision won’t be his.

“It’s his decision and his decision alone,” Ron Hunter said.

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