Duane Washington Jr. will take a first-hand look at the next level.
The rising senior guard has decided to enter the 2021 NBA Draft while giving himself the option of staying at Ohio State for next season. Washington is maintaining his eligibility, Eleven Warriors confirmed.
Even though he's in the NBA draft pool, it would qualify as a surprise if he opts to stick with the decision of going pro.
Washington, a third-team All-Big Ten selection last season, is set to be at the forefront of a team destined to begin the 2021-22 season in the top-10. He averaged a team-high 16.4 points on a 41/37.4/83.8 shooting split last season, adding 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists while leading the Buckeyes with 32.2 minutes per game.
At his best, Washington has proven himself to be a deadly scorer in college basketball. He set the Big Ten tournament championship record with 32 points against Illinois last month, put up 54 points across two games versus Michigan last season and scored at least 20 points in 10 of his 31 games played last year. Inconsistency, both within games and between games, has been an issue throughout his career, though. After his standout performance versus the Illini, Washington went 7-of-21 for 18 points in the first-round NCAA tournament loss to Oral Roberts.
Washington does not appear on any rankings done by NBA draft analysts in the media. He'll likely have to improve his offensive efficiency, shot selection and defense before having a realistic shot at getting picked next year. However, he'll go through the pre-draft process this offseason considering he's able to get feedback from NBA decision-makers while working out in front of them while retaining his collegiate eligibility.
E.J. Liddell has also decided to go through the NBA draft process.