PULLMAN – Washington State freshman forward CJ Elleby has hired an agent and plans to work out for a handful of NBA teams in the coming weeks while still preserving his college eligibility, The Spokesman-Review learned Tuesday.
Elleby declared for the NBA draft without an agent on March 29, going down an increasingly popular road for college underclassmen who wish to obtain feedback from professional teams while maintaining their eligibility.
The NBA permits players to “test the waters” of the draft and return to school as long as they withdraw their name before May 29. Up until last year, the NCAA prohibited players from hiring an agent and then returning to school, but a bylaw that was passed in 2018 changed that rule, allowing NBPA-certified agents to represent college prospects as long as they request an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.
According to a source, the agency Elleby signed with will be revealed later this week. He has five workouts lined up before the NBA Combine takes place May 15-19, and is expected to have a few more after it.
Elleby, a Seattle native who played at Cleveland High School, was WSU’s second-leading scorer and rebounder as a true freshman, averaging 14.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-6, 185-pound small forward earned Pac-12 All-Freshman honors last season after starting in 28 games – a team high – and passing Klay Thompson and Steve Puidokas to secure WSU’s freshman scoring record.
Elleby’s name isn’t listed on any mock draft boards, and it’s widely expected that he’ll return to Pullman for his sophomore season. He has participated in every practice for new coach Kyle Smith to this point, and should be the focal point of the Cougars’ offense next season, with senior forward and Pac-12 leading scorer Robert Franks having graduated.
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