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Washington freshmen Chriss, Murray declare for NBA draft

Washington freshmen Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray have declared for the NBA draft.

Washington freshmen Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray declared for the NBA draft on Wednesday, each tweeting their intentions to turn pro.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reports both will hire agents, meaning they will lose amateur status and be unable to return to school under the new draft rules.

Chriss, a 6'9" power forward, gained traction with consistently strong play during the second half of the Huskies’ season and is a bouncy, agile big man with the makings of a solid face-up game. The 18-year-old clocks in at No. 10 on SI’s first draft Big Board and presently figures as a late-lottery selection. He averaged 13.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks this season.

Big Board 1.0: Top 20 prospects

Murray, a 6'5" guard, averaged 16.1 points, six rebounds and 4.4 assists this season. A Seattle native, the 19-year-old Murray counts Jamal Crawford among his mentors and has been a presence on the local basketball scene in the past couple of years. He brings scoring ability and savvy in addition to size for his position and presently profiles as a potential late-first rounder.

Both players should receive invitations to the draft combine in May in Chicago, and in a thin draft, are in position to capitalize based on their potential alone. Playing on the West Coast can make it a bit tougher for NBA scouts and evaluators to catch games, and once the duo begin working out in front of teams, their respective stocks could take another jump.

The Huskies will bring in five-star guard Markelle Fultz to take the reins next season.