In a surprising move Purdue announced this morning that freshman Nojel Eastern would declare for the NBA Draft:
Purdue freshman Nojel Eastern has announced his intention to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft but will not hire an agent, maintaining his amateurism.
Eastern will put his name into the NBA Draft, making him eligible to be selected on draft night June 21. He will be able to start attending workouts scheduled by NBA teams April 24 and is eligible to compete in the NBA Draft Combine, if selected, from May 16 to 20 in Chicago. He then has 10 days (May 30 deadline) to weigh his options and keep his name in or withdrawal for the NBA Draft. Withdrawing his name from the Draft will maintain his eligibility in intercollegiate athletics.
The key part is not hiring an agent, because honestly it would be insane for him to stay in the draft right now. He will go through the same process that Carsen Edwards is going to go through, but it seems very likely that Nojel would return. He averaged just 2.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists this year with more turnovers (40) than assists. He was a strong defensive and rebounding asset late in the season, however.
Nojel needs to develop an outside shot (just 3 of 9 from three, with no attempts since Maryland on January 31) and his free throw shooting (41.7%) needs dramatic improvement.
I would say there is a 0.000000000000000000001% chance he actually stays in the draft, and that is high. Of course, the point of Nojel declaring for the draft is not about him going pro right now, but rather what critical feedback can he receive this offseason in order to improve his game. As Chris Forman puts it:
You're 19 years old. You can get free feedback from the industry's best on how to improve.— Chris Forman (@ChrisForman12) April 16, 2018
Engineers, writers, teachers, everyone that is in a major, etc... in college would do same thing if they have dreams, but basketball players are ridiculed when they try it.