Hoops News

Here's the latest on the UCLA sophomores, Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo, and their NBA Draft prospects. Also, there is an interesting development in UCLA recruiting for the incoming class of 2006....

The situation with Jordan Farmar is getting interesting.

NBA sources are indicating that the UCLA sophomore point guard had a good workout with the New Jersey Nets last week.

The Nets are shaping up to be the most likely candidate to take Farmar in the first round of the draft. They have two first-round picks, #22 and #23, and sources are saying that they want to use one of those draft picks on a point guard.

It very well could come down to a choice by New Jersey between Farmar and Kyle Lowry, the 6-0, sophomore Villanova point guard. Lowry isn't as big as Farmar, but is considerably quicker.

There is talk that Cleveland also could be a threat to take Farmar, with their pick at #25, but to our knowledge Farmar has yet to work out for the Cavaliers.

Where Farmar's situation gets particularly interesting is whether the UCLA sophomore would actually get a guarantee that a team would take him in the first round. Farmar has said he wouldn't keep his name in the NBA draft unless he did, but while New Jersey likes Farmar, the Nets very well could be hesitant to guarantee they'd take him in the first round, as would any NBA team.

It's likely Farmar will go to the Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando June 6-10. Farmar's performance there could either cement his place with an NBA team, like the Nets, to the point they do indeed give him a first-round guarantee, or it could keep his status uncertain, enough that he doesn't receive the guarantee.

Could Farmar remain in the draft without a guarantee, but with just a fairly firm commitment from an NBA team? That's uncertain, even though the Farmar camp has repeated that he'd only stay in with an absolute guarantee. It wouldn't behoove an NBA team to give a guarantee and then not take a player, so first-round guarantees are rare, especially if you're projected in the late first round. In fact, many teams refuse to ever give a first-round guarantee.

Farmar will work out with the Lakers tomorrow and then will be in Phoenix for a workout with the Suns Friday.

The Lakers have the #26 pick, the Suns #27, and Sacramento, who Farmar worked out for last week, have the #19 pick. The Clippers don't have a first-round pick.

Some NBA experts think it's highly unlikely Sacramento would take Farmar with that #19 pick. New Jersey, with its two first-round picks, looks like the most likely candidate for Farmar, with the Lakers and the Suns, and maybe Cleveland, as possibilities.

For Arron Afflalo, the UCLA sophomore shooting guard, the NBA prospects are a bit bleaker. To date, no NBA source has indicated that Afflalo would be taken in the first round, while Afflalo has had a number of workouts with NBA teams. Afflalo, like Farmar, has said repeatedly he wouldn't stay in the draft unless he was given a first-round guarantee, but we've heard some talk that he might consider staying in the draft without the guarantee. Every NBA source thought that such a move by Afflalo would be highly unfortunate. In fact, one NBA source said, "If he stays in the draft it could be very sad."

But, interestingly enough, if Afflalo did stay in the draft he could very well not get drafted, and without getting drafted he could return to college, as long as he doesn't hire an agent. If he did do this, he would never be able to be drafted again.

Ryan Hollins had a good workout with the Portland Trailblazers last week. NBA sources are indicating that he's worked his way up to a projected early second-rounder at this point.

Recruiting News:

It's looking less likely that Marko Spica, the 6-9 post from Serbia Montenegro, will be a Bruin. He has yet to achieve an SAT score that would qualify him by UCLA standards. He did take the test most recently at the beginning of the month and is awaiting a score, but it could be a case that, with UCLA's recruiting situation changing quickly in recent months, Spica might not be the right fit at this point.

We've heard, though, that UCLA is again showing interest in another European, a very talented 6-7 forward who's widely considered to be a big-time prospect, with NBA potential. He's athletic and highly skilled, able to shoot out to three consistently with the hops to play above the rim, and a great feeling for the game. The reports say this prospect just needs to get bigger and stronger.

If everything is good to go, the recruit would come to UCLA this fall, and join the incoming recruiting class of James Keefe and Russell Westbrook.

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