Men’s Basketball: Duane Washington Jr. agrees to two-way contract with Indiana Pacers

The Lantern
Ohio State junior guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) dribbles the ball down the court during the Ohio State-Illinois Big Ten Tournament game on March 14. Ohio State lost 88-91. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo Editor

Despite going unselected in the 2021 NBA draft, former Ohio State guard Duane Washington Jr. found his NBA home just minutes after the draft concluded.

Washington signed a two-way deal with the Indiana Pacers Friday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski . The deal will have Washington spend time with both the Pacers and their G-League affiliate the Fort Wayne Mad Ants this season.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan, native initially entered the draft process with the option to return to Ohio State. But after strong showings at the NBA G-League Elite Camp and the NBA draft combine, Washington ultimately decided to forgo his senior year and pursue professional opportunities.

In his three years at Ohio State, Washington improved each season — especially as a scorer — as he improved his scoring average by more than four points each year. Washington averaged 11.4 points and 1.7 assists per game throughout his Ohio State career.

Washington broke out in his junior season, tallying per game career-highs in points with 16.4 and rebounds with 3.8 en route to an appearance on the All-Big Ten Third Team. Although Washington’s expanded offensive game captivated Buckeye fans in his junior campaign, his biggest strides were made as a playmaker — tallying a career-high 2.9 assists per game.

In his final Big Ten Tournament run, Washington led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship loss to Illinois while averaging 23 points and earning All-Big Ten Tournament honors. In that game against the Illini, he dropped a career-high 32 points in the loss.

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