Afflalo Talks About the NBA Draft

The sophomore shooting guard, Arron Afflalo, who put his name into the NBA draft, talks about the process, the crucial events in the next couple of weeks, the NBA workouts, returning to UCLA, and more...

Arron Afflalo talked to Bruin Report Online Friday afternoon.

So, did you work out with the UCLA team in the workouts the last couple of weeks?

"A little bit, a few days a week. I mostly worked out on my own."

Have you worked with a trainer or a personal coach?

"No, it was really just the coaching staff when they can."

So, you're a part-time student now?

"Yeah, I had to drop one class this week and become a part-time student. That's how the NCAA rules work. And I have to pass the other two classes to keep my eligibility."

How are you doing in those two other classes?

"I'm doing fine in the other classes."

What's your schedule for workouts with NBA teams?

"On Monday, I'm working out with the Lakers. Then, throughout the rest of the week, it's the Chicago Bulls, the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers."

Will the Chicago, Indiana and Cleveland workouts be all one trip?

"Yeah, just one trip."

Do they tell you who you'll be working out with or how many other potential draftees?

"No. I don't know who I'll be working out with. I believe it may be two or three other guys."

You grew up a Laker fan, so how does it feel to be working out for them?

"I'm not really trying to read too much into it. I'm still in the process of establishing myself as an elite player, and this is just the process. If I ever did become a Laker, I would definitely be proud."

Is your criteria for staying in the draft the same as it was?

"Yes. Definitely I'd have to be certain I was going to go in the first round."

Do you have any kind of indication right now where you think you'd be drafted?

"It's pretty much the same. Not too much has changed. I haven't done any workouts yet, so I can't see where I'd be projected to go.  I didn't really even know initially. It's always been pretty general, like anywhere from the last first round to the second round. Really the only indication you get right now is where other people project you, rather than where an NBA GM projects you."

Among the teams that want you to work out for them, is there one that's been showing you particularly interest?

"According to Coach (Ben) Howland, they all like me. That's the reason for me to go out there and work out for them, to make it as a first-round pick with these teams. If they're not interested, I'll just come back to school."

Coming back to school wouldn't be that bad, would it? You'd be returning to a pretty good team and could have a chance at the national championship...

"Of course not. But at this point, all my interest and focus is geared toward what I'm trying to do right now. But if for some reason I came back to UCLA, winning a national championship would be my goal."

So, who do you use as a sounding board? Who is in on this decision with you?

"It's mainly a process I'm going through with just my dad. He's behind me 100% and we make all of my decisions together."

How has the UCLA coaching staff been?

"Very supportive. They made all the necessary phone calls and gave me all the moral support I needed."

Do you think your game - or your physicality - has improved since the end of the season?

"I'm getting stronger. I've been trying to maintain and stay in shape, so I can get through these workouts without getting tired at all. I've been staying in the gym a lot and trying to improve. I've been working on everything, even some things that I couldn't necessarily work on during the season. I'm going to show some people who will be watching me maybe some things they haven't seen."

You're pretty familiar with the claim that you might lack NBA-level athleticism. How do you respond to that?

"That's just the opinion of some people.  I don't think about it, and don't think it will affect me at all. Some people might find out that I'm more athletic than they think. Until I get in the gym and demonstrate what I'm capable of, everyone can have an opinion."

Going a bit off-topic, did you talk to elite recruit Kevin Love this spring?

"I went to some games of the So Cal All-Stars (Afflalo's former AAU team that Love played on this spring). I got a chance to chat with him, but I didn't talk to him about schools. I'm sure he gets enough of that.  It would sure be nice to see him in a Bruin uniform, though."

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