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Maryland basketball's Robert Carter Jr. to declare for NBA Draft and hire agent

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Maryland loses a top contributor.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland forward Robert Carter Jr. will declare for the NBA Draft and hire an agent, multiple outlets reported on Thursday and the university confirmed in a release.

"I want to thank the University of Maryland community and all of the fans for their support during my two years at Maryland," Carter Jr. said in a statement. "I also want to thank coach [Mark] Turgeon, my teammates and the entire Maryland basketball program for everything they have done for me. The University of Maryland will always be a special place to both me and my family. I will forever be a Terp."

ESPN's Jeff Goodman and John Rothstein of CBS Sports were two of the first to report that Carter will indeed hire an agent.

Jeff Ermann of Inside Maryland Sports was first with the news, saying Carter will declare for the draft and "most likely" hire an agent.

Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon said in the release, "I enjoyed the opportunity to coach Robert the past two years. During his redshirt year, he worked extremely hard to improve his conditioning and expand his overall game. This past year, Robert was a very productive player and embraced his role as a team leader. I am proud that he achieved his goal and will graduate with a degree in Family Science from Maryland and can now begin to pursue a career in professional basketball."

Carter, a transfer junior, has one year left of college eligibility. But hiring an agent would automatically end that eligibility. According to Ermann, a source familiar with the situation said Tuesday that Carter was, leaning toward declaring, though the source didn't have insight on Carter's representation plans.

The 22-year-old is projected as the No. 51 pick in the late June draft, according to DraftExpress, though his stock won't be definite until after he competes against other top talent at the NBA Scouting Combine from May 11-15.

Carter is likely to go in the second round if he is drafted at all.

From a financial aspect, among other things, this may be the best decision for Carter, who will attempt to make a career out of playing basketball -- something that would become more difficult as a fifth-year senior.

There are conflicting reports on whether his teammate Diamond Stone will declare for the draft, and Melo Trimble's decision is still unknown.

All three should reasonably be expected to at least attend the draft combine, as they are able to pull their names out and return to college if they so choose by May 25. However, hiring an agent removes the option to come back to school.