Keels had until 11:59 PM ET to withdraw his name from the NBA draft and retain his eligibility and return to school, which he elected not to do.
The 6-foot-5 Keels is projected as ESPN’s No. 26 pick in the 2022 draft. He is one of the youngest players currently projected to be picked at just 18 years old. Keels was named to the ACC’s All-Rookie team after a strong freshman season at Duke that included a 25-point outburst in the opening game of the season in the Champions Classic against Kentucky in Madison Square Garden. He finished strong with a 19-point outing in the NCAA Final Four against North Carolina, the final game of head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s career.
A two-way guard with a strong frame and a 6-7 wingspan, Keels is intriguing to NBA teams due to the combination of toughness, off-court intangibles, feel for the game, defensive versatility and passing creativity he shows. He showed a sense for the moment in some of Duke’s biggest games this season, coming to life as a shot-maker and finisher around the basket in several crucial moments despite his youth.
The 2022 NBA draft will be held on June 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.