With the 2018-19 NBA season over, we now turn to NBA Summer League play, and the UCLA basketball program will be well represented with six Bruins playing for their respective teams.
The UCLA basketball team has been able to send plenty of talent to the NBA, but once they make that first jump to the pros, they still have to prove themselves. Six former Bruins will have the chance this July as they will be participating in the NBA Summer League.
The Summer League begins on Monday, July 1 and runs through the 3rd in both Sacramento and Salt Lake City. After the 4th of July holiday, the league continues from July 5-15 in Las Vegas.
Former UCLA Basketball Players in the NBA Summer League
- Moses Brown – Houston Rockets
- Jaylen Hands – Brooklyn Nets
- Aaron Holiday – Indiana Pacers
- Travis Wear – Golden State Warriors
- Thomas Welsh – Denver Nuggets
- Kris Wilkes – New York Knicks
During this most recent NBA Draft, only one Bruin was selected as Jayken Hands was a late second round pick. If he can make the roster in Brooklyn, he will be walking into a good situation as the Nets just landed three elite athletes: Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan. Last year, Hands was second on UCLA in points per game with 14.2, but also had 6.1 assists, which was good for 19th best in the country.
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Though they were not selected, Brown and Wilkes were both able to sign as undrafted free agents. Wilkes led the Bruins in scoring as he logged 17.4 points per game. If Wilkes makes the roster, he walks into an interesting situation with the Rockets as there seems to be some turmoil in Houston. Brown nearly averaged a double-double as he put up 9.7 points and led the team with 8.3 rebounds. Though he was almost automatic under the basket with a team-leading FG% of .607, he needs to also tack on some mass if he wants to be a threat in the pros.
Aaron Holiday was drafted in 2018 by Indiana and will continue to prove himself in the summer league, even though he was third on the team in points per game with 5.9. Fortunately for him, he might have a better chance of landing the starting point guard spot as fellow Bruin Darren Collison recently retired from the NBA.
Welsh was also taken in 2018, but he landed in Denver. He spent most of his time in the G-League but did make an appearance in 11 games with the Nuggets. He will look to improve off of his 1.6 points and 0.4 rebounds from last season.
Wear has only played in two seasons since entering the NBA in 2014. His last stint in the association was 2017-18 when he participated in 27 games for the Los Angeles Lakers. He looks to make a roster spot with the Golden State, which could happen seeing as the Warriors lost frontcourt depth with the exit of Durant.