Washington State guard Justin Powell declares for NBA draft while preserving collegiate eligibility
March 28, 2023 Updated Tue., March 28, 2023 at 5:40 p.m.
PULLMAN – Washington State guard Justin Powell will test the NBA draft waters this offseason while preserving his collegiate eligibility, according to a report Tuesday from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
Powell will spend the next two months receiving feedback from professional organizations. June 1 is the deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft pool.
If Powell decides against turning pro, he can return to WSU for his senior season. The 6-foot-6 combo guard has already transferred twice and he has not entered the transfer portal, so it seems unlikely that he would pursue a waiver from the NCAA to make another move.
Powell started every game this year for the Cougars after transferring in from Tennessee. He played at Auburn as a freshman.
In his first WSU season, Powell assumed point-guard duties. He averaged averaging 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists while committing less than one turnover per game. The Prospect, Kentucky, native shot 40.8% from the field and hit 78 of 183 (42.6%) 3-point attempts.
Declaring for the NBA draft without any guarantee has become a common occurrence in college basketball. Powell’s name isn’t showing up on any mock draft boards, but gathering insights from NBA personnel will prove valuable to his future.
Powell’s decision shouldn’t come as a major surprise, and there’s a good chance he’s back with the Cougars next year. Still, there’s a fair amount of uncertainty for WSU going forward.
Star guard TJ Bamba declared for the NBA draft and entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday. Center Dishon Jackson, who started 19 games between 2020-22 but missed this season with an unspecified medical issue, is also in the portal.
All-Pac-12 post Mouhamed Gueye is deciding whether to begin his professional career or return to WSU. Gueye declared for the draft after his true freshman season in 2021-22, but elected to stick around at WSU for his sophomore year.
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