Wednesday, September 18

Afflalo to reveal draft decision


Sophomore expected to announce this week his plans to declare for NBA or continue with Bruins

Sophomore men’s basketball player Arron Afflalo is
expected to hold a press conference some time this week to announce
his future with the Bruin program, according to the UCLA Athletic
Department.

Sports Information Director Marc Dellins indicated the press
conference would be held whether Afflalo declares for the NBA Draft
or states his intention to return to UCLA for his junior
season.

Earlier in the year, Afflalo indicated he would return to UCLA
for his junior season.

Collegiate players have until April 29 to declare for the NBA
Draft, but are able to return to the college level if they do not
retain an agent.

If Afflalo declares for the draft but intends to return to
Westwood for his junior season, he will be able to compete against
other draft-eligible players in the NBA pre-draft camp, scheduled
June 6-10.

There, Afflalo would receive feedback from NBA scouts regarding
his strengths and weaknesses.

Declaring for the draft after his sophomore season, however,
would represent Afflalo’s one and only opportunity to test
the NBA Draft and return to UCLA. Following his junior season,
Afflalo would either have to decide to remain in Westwood or
declare for the NBA Draft.

During the 2005-06 season, Afflalo averaged 15.8 points and 33.4
minutes per game, both team highs. The 6-foot-5 sophomore made 46.2
percent of his field goals and 36.6 percent of his 3-pointers.

UCLA point guard Jordan Farmar is also expected to hold a press
conference before the April 29 deadline.

According to most draft analysts, Farmar is projected as a
higher selection than Afflalo, though neither is currently pegged
to be a first-round pick. In the NBA Draft, only players picked in
the first round are offered guaranteed contracts upon
selection.

In UCLA coach Ben Howland’s three-year tenure in Westwood,
two players have declared for the draft before their senior year
““ forwards Trevor Ariza and Dijon Thompson, both in 2004.

Ariza declared for the draft and retained an agent after his
freshman season and was selected in the second round by the New
York Knicks. He has averaged 17.5 minutes and 4.5 points per game
in his two years in the NBA for the Knicks and Orlando Magic.

Thompson, meanwhile, declared for the draft after his junior
year and attended pre-draft workouts, but returned to UCLA for his
senior season to lead the Bruins back to the NCAA Tournament after
a two-year absence.

In 2005, Thompson was selected in the second round by the
Phoenix Suns and is currently in the National Basketball
Developmental League.

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