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Amir Coffey Declares for NBA Draft

Coffey hires agent, but can return to Gophers before May 29

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Michigan State vs Minnesota Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Amir Coffey announced late on Wednesday night via Instagram that he will be hiring an agent and declaring for the NBA Draft to test the professional waters. For Coffey, it’s an amazing opportunity to take advantage of late season momentum where he looked like one of the best players in the entire conference and someone who could certainly be a potential draftee.

Does that mean he’s definitely gone? Not quite. The rules have changed slightly for college athletes, who can now hire an agent, go through a draft evaluation process and then decide to continue to the draft or withdraw and return to college before May 29th.

It’s bittersweet news for Gopher fans. On one hand you want the best players on the team for the best chance to win at the collegiate level. On the other, the entire point of college basketball for players like Coffey is to prepare for an NBA career, and you can hardly fault him for wanting to test the waters given his current stock.

Is Coffey gone for sure? It’s hard to say at this point. The official Instagram post almost has a farewell feel to it, but Coffey also didn’t look like an NBA player until late in the season and hasn’t been listed on many, if any, draft boards.

The downstream effects of Coffey leaving for the NBA would magnify the departures of Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer and Matz Stockman. That’s a lot of minutes and scoring to replace in a single offseason, and would leave a gaping offensive hole for next year’s team and substantially alter expectations.

Stay tuned.