NC State’s Markell Johnson declares for NBA draft

The junior point guard is leaving open the possibility of returning to the Wolfpack next seasn

Markell Johnson scores two of his game-high 25 points over Wake Forest's Jaylen Hoard during NC State's win on Sunday (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

  NC State basketball star Markell Johnson has entered his name into the 2019 NBA draft process. But unlike fellow underclassmen from Triangle rivals North Carolina and Duke, the junior point guard is leaving open the possibility of returning to school next season.

  Johnson finished second on the Wolfpack in scoring in 2018-19 at 12.6 points per game while also leading the team in assists at 4.2 per game. He shot 42.2 percent from 3-point range and ranked second on the team with 68 treys, despite missing three games with a hip injury.

  One of his best games this season came against Final Four participant Auburn, a Wolfpack victory in which Johnson scored 7 points on 9 of 15 shooting (5 of 8 3-point). He finished the season with six games of 20 or more points.

  “I fully support Markell going through this evaluation process and gathering additional information,” State coach Kevin Keatts said in a statement. “Given the rules and options available to him, Markell is taking advantage of resources to ultimately make the most informed decision.”

  Johnson has played in 89 games during his State career, with 57 starts.

  Under current roles, underclassmen that declare for the draft have until May 29 to withdraw without jeopardizing their college eligibility.