UCLA shooting guard Zach LaVine will enter this year’s NBA draft, his father tells Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News. The freshman is the second Bruin to disclose his intent to turn pro, after Kyle Anderson did so late Thursday night following UCLA’s loss in the NCAA tournament. Lavine is No. 27 in Chad Ford’s rankings at ESPN.com, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him 36th.
LaVine wasn’t on Givony’s preseason list of the top 100 prospects, but he zipped up draft boards early this season, mirroring his rapid ascent in the eyes of recruiters late in his high school career. Still, he slumped down the stretch, shooting just 23.5% from the floor over his last seven games. He was UCLA’s sixth man this season and his shots were limited, as he averaged just 9.4 points and 7.8 field goal attempts in 24.4 minutes per contest.
He, Anderson and Jordan Adams are all UCLA perimeter players who could wind up as first-round draft picks in June, though it’s unclear whether Adams, a sophomore, will follow the other two into the draft this year. The 6’5″ Lavine, who just turned 19 earlier this month, is capable of playing both guard spots, and he has a height advantage at the point.