Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tale of Two UCLA Guards

The two members of the UCLA starting backcourt, Jordan Farmar and Aaron Afflalo, both declared for the NBA draft yet did not sign with agents to test the waters. Two days ago, Farmar announced he would stay in the draft while Afflalo decided to stay in school. For Afflalo, this decision was a no-brainer. He was projected as at-best a 2nd round pick. If you're not guaranteed to be drafted in the 1st round, it's not worth the risk to enter. He should be able to sharpen his ball-handling skills and assist numbers to help get himself into the 1st round next year. He got his name on a lot of team's radars and got feedback on what skills he needs to improve. This was a win-win for Aaron.

For Farmar, it's a tough choice. I've seen him projected to go anywhere from 13 to 25 with his most likely destinations being Indiana (at 17), Grizzlies (at 24) or Cavs (at 25). If he goes to any of those teams, he'll most likely start as a back-up and perhaps work his way to start by the end of the season. He's currently ranked as the 5th best PG on Draftexpress.com. If he were to stay, he'd probably be the top PG in the '07 draft and a guarnteed lottery pick assuming his draft status remains as it is.

I've watched a lot of UCLA games and have never been impressed with Farmar. An average Farmar night looks something like this : 5-13 FG 2-6 3pt 2-3 FT 2 reb 1 stl 5 ast 4 TO 15 points. 15 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal isn't a bad night for a PG, but he never seemed to have a good shooting night and always turned the ball over way too much for my taste. He does show a real high basketball IQ and a number of those turnovers were from passes to big men not ready to catch the ball. If he improves his shot selection, that'll help a lot in the NBA. I think he'll be an adequte distributor and if he can end up with one of the 3 teams listed he'll be in a real good position because he'll only have to be a supporter. He won't be an all-star, but he'll end up a solid PG after a few years. A Mike Bibby-type player would be his upper ceiling, a Brevin Knight is what should be expected.


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