‘I have nothing to lose’: CJ Elleby declares for NBA draft while preserving NCAA eligibility

WSU and EWU will face off in 2020
WSU and EWU will face off in 2020
Courtesy: Pac-12 Networks

SEATTLE, Wash. — It feels like years ago, but back when we actually had some live sports to watch, one player on the Washington State basketball team helped lead the Cougs to their first Pac-12 tournament win in 11 years.

CJ Elleby is a very unique talent, which is why today he made the same decision he did last year, declaring for the NBA draft while still preserving his NCAA eligibility.

The sophomore guard led WSU this year in scoring and rebounding, a year that ended in a really tough way. Right after their first Pac-12 tourney win in over a decade, the tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus and then, the NCAA tournament.

But he’ll have some good memories if his last game was against Colorado in Las Vegas. He lit the Buffs up for 30 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. He was a first team All-Pac-12 guard, and he’s the only player on the east side of the state to make the decision so far.

Anyone who declares for the draft faces some serious uncertainty because with the coronavirus guidelines in place, no one can conduct in-person workouts with NBA teams, and we don’t even know when the draft will actually happen. Many teams in the league want it pushed back to at least August.

“I have nothing to lose you know, from declaring into the draft,” Elleby said in a Zoom conference meeting with media Saturday. “Obviously there’s a lot of stuff going on around the world but soon enough business will go on as usual and so my main thoughts have just been trying to use this time to see if maybe it’s my time to come out just depending on how the teams feel about me.”

No Gonzaga players have declared for the draft yet, and yesterday NBA commissioner Adam Silver said they’re not in any position to make decisions on the season resuming, and it’s unclear when they will be.