Alabama has three players currently in the NBA draft, with Aaron Estrada out of eligibility to remain in college and Mark Sears and Jarin Stevenson entering the draft early, but still maintaining their college eligibility.

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By the end of the day, that number could change. It's May 29, and today is the deadline for Sears and Stevenson to remove their names from the 2024 NBA draft if they want to return to college. They both have until 11:59 p.m. ET to make a decision on their draft status.

Sears helped lead Alabama to its first-ever Final Four appearance in 2024. The senior from Muscle Shoals, Alabama racked up accolades during his second season with the Crimson Tide, totaling 21.5 points per game, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. Sears set the program record for most points scored in a single season with 797, broke Reggie King's record for most 20 or more point games with 26, and was a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award.

Despite the accolades and the season Sears had, he is reportedly not being looked at as a first-round pick currently. Nate Oats spoke with reporters during a Tide on Tour event for Yea Alabama and blatantly said what Sears is in search of.

Sears wants guaranteed money, and who can blame him? Sears was All-SEC and second-team All-American en route to a Final Four appearance for Alabama, and arguably the most prolific three-point shooter in the country. Oats referenced a two-way contract, significantly less than the rookie minimum if a player is drafted. According to Sports Business Classroom, two-way contracts paid up to $508,891 for the entire 2022-2023 season. While that is a considerable amount of money, the maximum guaranteed money per season is $50,000 per season, which is actually less than what Alabama would be able to offer Sears.

Sears has a workout scheduled with the Milwaukee Bucks for today, so don't expect a decision early in the day.

Kevin Sweeney of Sports Illustrated provided his insight on Sears's draft decision.

Stevenson's decision is a little different. The freshman from Chapel Hill, North Carolina played in all 37 games for Alabama last season but only totaled 5.3 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game, and 0.4 assists per game. Stevenson elevated his play when he needed to, however, scoring a season and career-high 19 points in Alabama's Elite Eight win over the Clemson Tigers.

Despite Stevenson playing his best on the big stage, and his declaration to the draft, Stevenson did not get an NBA combine invite nor is appearing in any NBA mock drafts. Stevenson would also be in a two-way situation, in which Alabama could compete monetarily against a two-way deal. However, according to Sweeney, Stevenson's decision is more 50/50 than a lot of people realize.

Stevenson appears to have had a workout with at least one NBA team, posting pictures from a workout with the Miami Heat.

Sears's potential return makes Alabama arguably the top team in the country when preseason rankings drop. Stevenson has a chance to push for a starting spot in Alabama's rotation with the Crimson Tide emphasizing better length with the additions in the transfer portal and the recruiting class. Even if neither returns, Alabama is still likely a top-three team in the country.

The clock is ticking for both players, with the deadline set for 11:59 p.m. ET tonight. Just because there is no announcement before the deadline does not mean a player is remaining in the draft. The NBA has to know by the deadline, not the general public. However, it is likely that the public will know shortly after the deadline.

Wyatt Fulton is the TIde 100.9 DME and Brand Manager, covering Alabama Crimson Tide football and men's basketball. For more Crimson Tide coverage, follow Wyatt on X (Formerly known as Twitter) at @FultonW_.

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