- The Washington Times - Monday, July 5, 2021

Aaron Wiggins will forgo his remaining eligibility with Maryland and keep his name in the NBA Draft, Mike Whitaker, his agent, told the Washington Times on Monday night.

Wiggins had until July 7 to decide whether he was coming back to College Park or headed to the next level. His decision opens one scholarship spot for Maryland and leaves a hole in coach Mark Turgeon’s projected starting lineup. Draft Express first reported Wiggins‘ decision.

Still, the Terrapins should have a roster capable of competing at the top of the Big Ten. Forward Donta Scott returns after a productive season, guard Eric Ayala announced last week he would come back to Maryland for his senior year, and Turgeon added a pair of transfers — point guard Fatts Russell and forward Qudus Wahab — to offer an immediate impact.

Wiggins played in 31 games for the Terrapins last season, scoring an average 14.5 points with 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. His performances hit a new level late in the season, helping to propel Maryland into the NCAA tournament. His 27 points against Alabama in the second round of March Madness showed how dynamic a scorer he can be.

The 6-foot-6 guard had several workouts with NBA teams, including the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. Whitaker, his agent, said Monday that Wiggins had two more workouts before the July 7 deadline.

Last month, following his workout with the Warriors, Wiggins said he wanted to prove he was more than a shooter, capable of defending against multiple positions. The feedback, he said, was strong. But Wiggins had wanted “promises, guarantees of me getting drafted.”

“Ideally, I want to be a first-rounder,” Wiggins said in mid-June.

Wiggins’ draft trajectory improved after a strong showing at the G League Elite Camp. In his first scrimmage, he scored a team-high 15 points. He scored 11 points in the second scrimmage while coming off the bench.

Those two showings were enough to warrant an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine, where he had the chance to hear from more scouts and teams to shape a decision. In the end, the feedback pointed to keeping his name in the draft.

• Andy Kostka can be reached at akostka@washingtontimes.com.

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