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Cat Barber is staying in NBA Draft, will not return to NC State

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We've known for a while now that Cat Barber was going to at least test his NBA Draft prospects once the season ended, but we couldn't say for certain that he was definitely going pro. Now we know. On Tuesday, via Pack Pride, Cat Barber confirmed that he will stay in the draft.

Barber sent this text to Pack Pride:

"I feel like it's time for me to move on and take my game to the next level. I want to be able to provide for my family. I enjoyed my time at NC State. I want to thank my coaches for giving me the opportunity. Most importantly I want to thank my teammates and the fans. I want everyone to know I gave it 100% every night. I will forever be a part of WPN."

Barber appeared to offer a farewell on Instagram yesterday (h/t @Bullard_), so this is not a surprising development. He could have waited quite a while to make a decision--new NCAA legislation allows players to try out at the NBA Combine in May and still maintain their eligibility, so guys have more time than ever to collect information. But when you know, you know, and the Cat Daddy has known for a while, I'd imagine.

He went out with a huge season. He has nothing left to show scouts at this point in his career, and that leaves little reason for him to return to NC State, even if he is far from a clear first-round draft pick.

In the latest 2016 mock draft from Draft Express, Barber sneaks in at the tail end of the second round. I think there's a decent chance he can improve his stock in workouts, and in any case, he's definitely going to get his shot.

Thanks for these past three seasons, Cat. Go get paid, dude.