Sunday, May 24

Jaylen Hands selected No. 56 overall in NBA Draft, 2 Bruins go undrafted

Jaylen Hands was picked No. 56 overall after leading the Pac-12 with 6.1 assists per game. Hands became the fourth second-rounder out of UCLA over the last three seasons. (Michael Zshornack/Daily Bruin senior staff)

This post was updated June 21 at 8:50 a.m.

It took nearly five hours, but a Bruin finally came off the board.

Former UCLA men’s basketball guard Jaylen Hands was selected No. 56 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night. The Los Angeles Clippers initially held the pick, but they agreed to a trade that sent Hands and a 2020 first rounder to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for the 27th pick, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said.

Hands joined 1998 draft pick J.R. Sakuragi – formerly known as J.R. Henderson – as the second-lowest Bruin selected since the draft was cut to two rounds in 1989. Thomas Welsh remains the latest pick for UCLA in that era after being picked 58th overall in 2018.

Only one Pac-12 player went inside the top 20 and just two were first-round selections. This year’s lottery marked the first since 2010 without a representative from the Pac-12.

Hands led the Pac-12 in assists with 6.1 per game, and his assist-to-turnover ratio improved from 1.4 in the 2017-2018 season to 1.9 in 2018-2019. However, Hands’ 105 turnovers – a concern of NBA scouts at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine – ranked third in the conference.

And while he’ll be almost 3,000 miles away from Pauley Pavilion, Hands won’t be alone in the Big Apple.

Hands’ former teammate, forward Kris Wilkes, went undrafted, but he agreed to a two-way contract with the New York Knicks just minutes after the draft ended.

Wilkes was the Pac-12’s fourth-leading scorer this season, boasting a 17.4 per game mark. He bumped his player efficiency rating from 17.5 his freshman year to 17.9 his sophomore year after entering and eventually leaving the 2018 NBA Draft pool.

But despite playing 60 more minutes this season, Wilkes posted 0.2 fewer win shares while his 3-point, true shooting and effective field goal percentages dipped as well. He was able to improve his free throw percentage, but he still shot sub-70%.

Moses Brown surrendered three years of NCAA eligibility with UCLA to enter the draft in April, but he went undrafted as well.

Brown led the Bruins with nine double-doubles this season. The 7-foot-2-inch center finished fourth in the Pac-12 with 8.3 rebounds per game and 1.9 blocks per game.

Former interim coach Murry Bartow benched the freshman two times for disciplinary reasons during conference play – both times against Utah. Brown also shot 35.2% from the charity stripe despite shooting 60.7% from the field.

Brown agreed to a deal with the Houston Rockets to join their summer league team, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

The Las Vegas NBA Summer League starts July 5. Hands and Wilkes are both likely to join Brown in the event, with official rosters being announced next week.

Sports editor

Connon is the Sports editor and a reporter on the football and men's basketball beats. He was previously an assistant Sports editor for the baseball, men's soccer, women's golf, men's golf and cross country beats and a reporter on the baseball and women's basketball beats. Connon also contributes movie reviews for Arts & Entertainment. Connon is a third-year Communication student from Winchester, Massachusetts.

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