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South Carolina forward Chris Silva to enter NBA Draft process

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The Gamecocks standout hasn’t hired an agent, however.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina junior forward Chris Silva announced his intention to test the NBA Draft waters on Tuesday.

Silva, an All-SEC selection and co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year this past season, will not hire an agent, which leaves the door open to returning to the Gamecocks. The NBA Combine is held next month, May 16-20, ahead of the draft on June 21. After the combine, Silva has 10 days to make a decision about his professional future.

As one of the few veterans remaining from last year’s Final Four run, Silva was a bright spot for the Gamecocks in an otherwise tough 2017-18 season. He averaged 14.3 points and eight rebounds per game, while also leading the team with 1.4 blocks per game. Given that college basketball players have the option to go through the draft process without fully committing to it, it makes sense for Silva to evaluate the possibilities at this stage in his career.

This news comes on the heels of the announcement that reserve guard David Beatty will transfer. The freshman joins big men Khadim Gueye and Ibrahim Foumake Doumbia as the Gamecocks’ other offseason departures. South Carolina’s roster tends to see a lot of turnover under coach Frank Martin, so this isn’t unusual. But losing Silva is certainly not a possibility that fans will want to think about.