With the 2019 NBA Draft in the books, Go Joe Bruin looks at the three most likely UCLA basketball players that could be taken in next year’s draft.
The UCLA basketball team once again had a Bruin selected in the NBA Draft. Though it was five picks from not happening, the Los Angeles Clippers kept UCLA’s three-year streak alive when they selected Jaylen Hands with the 56th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft (although, he was later traded to the Brooklyn Nets).
RELATED: UCLA Basketball 2019 NBADraft Recap
With the Bruins having a long history of sending players to the pros, will they be able to continue that tradition next year? It is possible, and we look and three likely candidates to have their names called in 2020.
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There were a few Bruins that started growing into their roles last season, and Jules Bernard is one of them. Bernard was one of those players that was depended on more as the season progressed as he started to see his minutes increase closer to the end of the season.
Bernard is a very athletic wingman and is a deadly slasher but also needs to play more consistently. Still, he was pretty efficient under the rim as he was fourth on the team in field goal percentage behind Moses Brown, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley and third on the team in three-point shots with a .371 average. If he can play with more consistency in 2019–20, then it would not surprise me to hear his name called for the 2020 draft
Singleton was by far the most improved player last season. Like Bernard, he was given more opportunities to play after the midseason firing of former coach Steve Alford and after the injury to Prince Ali. Singleton was not only impressive in the stat column, especially when it came to three-point shots as he led the team with a .467 percentage (second in the conference), but was also a hard worker.
In essence, he’s the type of player that Ben Howland would have liked to utilize when he was in charge of the program. Singleton plays with determination, fights for every possession, and never quits on a play. Among all the Bruins to play next season, I would give him the most significant chances to be selected in the draft.
Now I am not pushing anything on O’Neal, especially as he is still rehabilitating from the heart surgery he had back in December, but there’s one thing this kid is showing he has a lot of… heart (no pun intended). Not only is he determined to get back to full strength, but has had a fantastic attitude about the entire process. Though it helps to be the son of Shaquille O’Neal, Shareef is doing just fine drawing attention to himself.
In recent weeks, there has been film of him throwing down powerful dunks and generally wowing fans in summer league games. If he can elevate his game back to where it was before the surgery and applies what Mick Cronin instills in him, then there is a good chance he can also hear his name in 2020.