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Duane Washington Jr. earns last-second NBA Draft Combine call-up

Following an impressive showing at the NBA G-League Elite Camp, Ohio State’s resident flamethrower was invited to showcase his skills with all the top talent in this year’s NBA Draft.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Following an impressive showing at the NBA G League Elite Camp this week, Ohio State junior guard Duane Washington Jr. earned one of the final NBA Combine invitations offered to draft-eligible players. While he was not one of the original 69 very nice players who earned a combine invite on June 15, he was one of the 40 players invited to participate in the G-League’s Elite Camp, which is another way for draft-eligible players to showcase their skills in front of NBA scouts, coaches and executives. OSU’s E.J. Liddell was also invited to the camp.

Each year since the Elite Camp started in 2019, a select few participants are chosen to jump up to the NBA Combine after strong showings at the camp. Often, they are players who were not expected to be drafted, but caught the eyes of executives and coaches during the camp. Those players then travel to the NBA Combine, where they join the 60+ players who were originally invited, many of whom will be drafted next month.

Washington Jr. has steadily improved each year at Ohio State, most recently leading the Buckeyes in scoring with 16.4 points per game last season. He was especially lethal during the Big Ten Tournament, scoring 92 points over four games as he led the fifth-seeded Buckeyes all the way to the championship game, where they fell to Illinois in overtime.

After two impressive games at the G-League Camp, Washington has — at the very least — earned himself one more week in front of NBA scouts. He was not listed in any major mock draft prior to the G-League Camp, and that may not change even with the combine invitation. Washington is a bit undersized for an NBA shooting guard at 6-foot-3 and just under 220 pounds, but doesn’t have the court vision and playmaking ability to run point, either.

On day one, Washington scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-8 from three-point land. He also dished out two assists, had two rebounds, and had a team-high plus/minus of +20.

On day two, he scored 18 points on a much more efficient 7-of-13 shooting, and was 2-of-7 from beyond the arc. He also had one assist and two steals.

One of his biggest assets also doubles as a drawback, as he is one of the streakiest shooters in Ohio State history. While he can catch fire and single-handedly deliver victories like he did during the B1G Tourney, he also struggles mightily at times without realizing that he may need to dial it back a tad. If he can become more consistent and efficient with his shooting, there’s no reason that he can’t have a long career coming off of the bench for a few NBA franchises.

While he wasn’t lights out from distance at the camp, his ability to score at all three levels will be attractive to NBA teams, as well as his ability to contribute even when his three-point shot isn’t falling, like in game two (5-of-6 from two-point range, 2-of-7 from three). The NBA Draft Combine is being held in Chicago through June 27, and then Washington will have until July 7 to make a decision on his future.

Liddell had a rougher showing at the camp, scoring a combined five points on 2-9 shooting over two games. He was 1-5 from three-point range and also pulled down 11 rebounds.