Sagaba Konate submits paperwork to request NBA evaluation

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Sagaba Konate, who didn’t play in a game after Dec. 8 this season and missed 28 games with a right knee injury, took a step toward evaluating his future in the NBA on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-8 forward submitted paperwork to request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which is made up of scouts and general managers from NBA teams.
“Per NCAA rules, in order to gain feedback from people associated with the NBA, players are required to submit the necessary paperwork to request an evaluation,” WVU head coach Bob Huggins said in a released statement. “Sags plans to do this while leaving open his option to return.”
Based on the feedback Konate receives, he could then make a decision to enter the 2019 NBA Draft, return to school or test the waters and try to work out at the NBA Combine or schedule an individual workout with a team.
Because of new rules that were negotiated into the latest NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Konate’s approach to the NBA has some different rules than what he faced last season when he was invited to the NBA Combine, but decided to return to West Virginia for his junior season.
Konate would have until April 21 to enter his name into the draft, which would make him eligible to be invited to the NBA Combine (May 15-19 in Chicago) or to schedule a workout with an NBA team.
The NCAA’s deadline to return and retain eligibility is May 29, although a new rule that begins this year allows players who have signed with an agent, but go undrafted, to return to school for another season as long as the player terminates all agreements with the agent.
The draft is scheduled for June 20, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Konate could conceivably enter the draft by April 21, hire an agent and take part in workouts for NBA teams and if he went undrafted, could still return to WVU next season without losing any eligibility, as long as he terminated all dealings he had with the agent.
In three seasons, Konate blocked a school-record 191 shots at West Virginia. In the eight games he played this season, Konate averaged 13.6 points and 8.0 rebounds.
He first injured the knee at the end of his sophomore season, but held off having surgery until after he participated in the 2018 NBA Combine.
Konate did not recover from the surgery as well as Huggins had hoped.
The forward missed stretches of preseason practice and he began the season at less than 100 percent.
After the Dec. 8 game against Pitt, Konate was shut down the rest of the season, a decision that was made by Konate’s family.
“It’s up to him and his brother when he plays and when he doesn’t play,” Huggins said after Konate missed the Rhode Island game on Dec. 16.
West Virginia toyed with the idea of bringing Konate back for the Big 12 tournament, but ultimately held him out of action. Konate declined all interview requests during the tournament.
Huggins maintained throughout the season he would welcome Konate’s return, but hoped the forward would make an informed decision on his professional future and not just one based on family needs.
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