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Ron Harper Jr. to enter 2021 NBA Draft process while maintaining eligibility

Harper Jr. will test the waters of the draft and not hire an agent through the process.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Rutgers at Houston IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

Ron Harper Jr. announced his plan to enter the process for the 2021 NBA Draft on Friday. The 6-foot-6 guard took to Instagram to make it official.

Harper Jr. will enter his name in the draft but not hire an agent at this time. This means he will keep his two remaining years of eligibility throughout the process. The combine will take place from June 21-27 and the 2021 NBA Draft is on July 29. Players like Harper Jr. who could pull their name out will have until July 19 to make that decision.

Harper Jr. is testing the waters of the NBA — and it is the right decision.

Each player in college basketball was given an extra year of eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means Harper Jr. will have two remaining. During his junior year at Rutgers, he showed off a skillset that looked NBA ready. He has also been included in several mock drafts from various services. Now, it is all about fine-tuning parts to get to that next level.

This is the reason to enter the draft process. There is a huge benefit in being evaluated and seeing how you matchup against the rest of the competition. This is a decision that should have been seen from a mile away. Jerry Carino reported that head coach Steve Pikiell fully supports this decision.

Through the early part of the 2020-21 season, Harper Jr. looked like a player ready for the NBA. He averaged 23.4 points per game through the first seven on the Scarlet Knights’ schedule. His production fell off after suffering a minor ankle injury in December.

Harper Jr. finished with 14.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. He shot 44.1% from the field and 31% from three-point territory.

The Don Bosco product was the focal point of the Scarlet Knights this season. The good news is that, while nothing is guaranteed, Harper Jr. could return to the Scarlet Knights if he pulls his name out of the draft. As a Franklin Lakes native, Harper Jr. could decide to stick around in his home state of New Jersey.