Afflalo and Farmar plan to hold individual workouts for specific
teams that ask, with each player paying his own way to the workout
"My goal as a basketball player is to play in the NBA," Farmar
said. "I can always come back with a great team. It's a good
situation for me to test it and see what people think about me and
where I am."
UCLA coach Ben Howland said he talked to 17 or 18 NBA general
managers, who projected Afflalo and Farmar would be selected late
in the first round or early in the second round of the June 28
"Whether they both go this year or come out at the end of next
year, they're both going to be in the NBA. That's a given,"
Howland said at a campus news conference. "I am totally 100
percent behind them, as is our whole UCLA basketball family in
their decision to test the waters."
Like Farmar, Afflalo said he would return to school if he wasn't
assured of being a first-round pick.
"If it's not the smartest situation possible, I'm coming back
to a great team," he said.
Farmar added, "A lot of guys don't have UCLA and the success we
had to come back to."
The players have until June 18 to withdraw their names from the
Afflalo's and Farmar's individual workouts won't begin before
May 20, when they will be required to drop one of the three classes
they're taking during the spring quarter and become part-time
students. The quarter ends in mid-June.
At that point, the players will no longer participate in
individual workouts with the UCLA team.
The duo said they wouldn't participate in the NBA pre-draft camp
in Orlando, Fla., because it doesn't allow players to showcase
their individual skills as much as solo workouts do.
Afflalo and Farmar were the first two recruits Howland signed
when he took over in Westwood three seasons ago. The sophomores led
the Bruins to a runner-up finish to Florida in the national
championship game April 3 after helping them win the Pac-10
regular-season and tournament titles.
"I'm indebted to them forever," Howland said. "They have
helped start something we think is very special."
Both players said their families and Howland were helping shield
them from agent inquiries.
Afflalo and Farmar, the Bruins' co-captains, shared the John
Wooden Award as the team's most valuable players this season. UCLA
finished 32-7, tying a school record for most wins.
Losing them would rob the Bruins of their offensive punch.
Afflalo was the leading scorer at 15.8 points and Farmar was second
at 13.5. He also led the Pac-10 in assists.
"If they come back, God bless them, I'll be so happy," Howland
said. "If they elect to stay in the NBA and they go in the first
round, that'll be great, too."