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Virginia Tech basketball: Justyn Mutts declares for NBA draft, will maintain college eligibility

There’s a chance Justyn Mutts returns in 2022-23.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Virginia Tech Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech basketball fans have been waiting on decisions from forwards Justyn Mutts and Keve Aluma since the 2021-22 season ended with last month’s loss to the Texas Longhorns in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Both forwards have one year of eligibility remaining, thanks to the “free” year of eligibility due to COVID-19. On Monday evening, Mutts made his decision. Mutts announced he was entering the 2022 NBA draft but would maintain his college eligibility.

So, yes, there’s a chance he returns to Blacksburg next season.

Mutts wrote the following message on his social media accounts:

Dear Hokie Nation, my heart is forever with you. My time at Virginia Tech has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’m grateful and blessed to say I am not the same person I was when I came to Blacksburg two years ago. Thanks to my amazing family, friends, coaches and the countless other people that have helped mold me, I can see myself growing into the person I’ve always wanted to be. With that being said, I have decided to declare for the 2022 NBA Draft while still maintaining my college eligibility. I’m excited for what the future has to hold.

The early part of the tweet feels ominous on Mutts’ odds to return next season. However, if he receives feedback that indicates he will not be drafted, there’s a strong chance he’ll be back unless he chooses to begin a professional career overseas. Mutts has options, whether it is basketball or anything else. An outstanding student, Mutts has already picked up multiple college degrees.

I would expect an Aluma announcement soon so head coach Mike Young can determine how many roster spots he has available for next season and what positions he needs to target in the NCAA transfer portal.

Mutts is a beloved player. All Virginia Tech fans want him back, but most importantly, we all want what’s best for him and Aluma. If that is a pro career, then we wish him nothing but the best. But no one will complain if they are back in Blacksburg next winter.