Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes are getting ready for the next step.
The two guards both elected to forgo their final two years of NCAA eligibility in favor of the 2019 NBA Draft earlier this offseason. After participating in the NBA Draft Combine in 2018, Hands and Wilkes have both been invited back to Chicago for a second chance.
Hands shot 4-of-7 from the field in the scrimmage at last year’s combine, but his three assists and four turnovers highlighted NBA scouts’ concerns about his ability to run an offense. He also, ironically, had the smallest hands of anyone in Chicago that week.
With Aaron Holiday gone, Hands had to run the point for UCLA men’s basketball this season. Hands’ passing numbers saw a boost – with his 6.1 assists per game leading the conference – but he recorded 4.1 turnovers per 40 minutes, compared to a mark of 2.9 his freshman season.
Hands was able to become a higher-volume shooter this season as well, attempting 1.7 more 3s per game while keeping his efficiency constant.
Wilkes shot over 50% in his scrimmage at the 2018 combine as well, going 6-of-11 with 12 points in 27 minutes. The wing shot 10-of-15 from deep in the shooting drills, and his jump shot had been praised for being NBA-ready.
But despite returning to finish as the fourth leading scorer in the Pac-12, Wilkes’ 2-point and 3-point percentages both dipped this year.
At the moment, center Moses Brown – who entered the draft without a personal, public announcement – has not received an invite to the combine.
The combine will take place from May 15-19.