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Saturday, June 17, 2006
UCLA guard Afflalo withdraws from NBA draft

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA guard Arron Afflalo withdrew from the NBA draft Saturday, allowing him to return for his junior season.

Jordan Farmar, the other half of the Bruins' star backcourt, declared for the draft the same day in April as Afflalo. Neither player signed with an agent, so Farmar is eligible to return, too.

"He's still formulating his decision," coach Ben Howland said.

The deadline to withdraw from the draft is 5 p.m. ET Sunday.

Afflalo said he worked out individually for the Lakers, Clippers, Chicago, Cleveland and Indiana.

"Some of the teams thought I was a second-round talent," he said during a conference call. "A few teams did indicate I was a first-round talent. It was never about money. I was looking for the right situation for me."

He said he received mostly positive feedback from the teams, with some wanting him to improve creating off the dribble for himself and others.

Afflalo had said he would return to school if he wasn't assured of being a first-round pick who would receive a guaranteed contract.

"It was very hard for teams to guarantee things," he said. "It definitely wasn't worth jeopardizing the great situation I'm in here."

Afflalo and Farmar led the Bruins to a runner-up finish to Florida in the national championship game after helping them win the Pacific-10 Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

Afflalo and Farmar, the Bruins' co-captains, shared the John Wooden Award as the team's most valuable players last season. UCLA finished 32-7, tying a school record for most wins.

Afflalo was the leading scorer at 15.8 points and Farmar was second at 13.5. He also led the Pac-10 in assists.

"What's to be disappointed about? This is a great team," Afflalo said. "I enjoy playing with my teammates. I knew I could make a lot of people happy with this decision."

Especially Howland, who signed Afflalo and Farmar as his first two recruits when he took over in Westwood three seasons ago.

"We're very fortunate to have him back," Howland said. "No doubt in my mind, he will be in the NBA someday. It's just a matter of when, not if."