LSU freshman Trendon Watford enters NBA draft evaluation

PHOTO by Jonathan Mailhes

LSU forward Trendon Watford, who enjoyed a sterling freshman season, announced Sunday on his Twitter feed he will enter the 2020 NBA draft process.

Watford’s current plans are to retain his eligibility as he goes through the NBA evaluation process.

Nobody knows if there will be the usual evaluation process since it’s still unsure if and when the current suspended NBA season will re-start because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league wants stage its draft before Aug. 1.

Watford, a former Birmingham, (Ala.) Mountain Brook High standout, earned All-SEC Freshman team honors. He was LSU’s second leading scorer averaging 13.6 points and had a team-best 7.2 rebounds. He averaged 13.8 points and 8.1 rebounds in league play.

“We are excited to support Trendon as he goes through this NBA draft process,” LSU coach Will Wade said. “Trendon had an outstanding freshman campaign for LSU, showing great versatility and improvement as the season went on. His play helped us to a second straight 20-win season at LSU and a second-place finish in the SEC.”

Watford has been projected in some mock drafts as a second-round choice.

Three other Tigers’ underclassmen, sophomores Javonte Smart, Darius Days and Emmitt Williams, have yet to announce whether they will also enter the evaluation process.

“The main thing I hammered home to our guys is `give yourself options’,” Wade said a couple of weeks ago about his underclassmen considering turning pro. “In times of uncertainty team, you want options. That means handling schoolwork in case they want to come back to school. That means working out to be in a good position and maybe be ahead of other players if there are pre-draft workouts.”

Watford was part of a Tigers’ lineup in which all five starters averaged in double figures, one of just seven Division I teams that had five players averaging in double figures.

LSU finished the regular season at 21-10 and 12-6 and a tie for second place in the SEC.

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Ron Higgins

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