Zach LaVine, UCLA freshman guard from Bothell High School, is leaving the Bruins after one season to enter the NBA draft, his father Paul told The Los Angeles Daily News on Friday.
LaVine averaged 9.4 points in 24.4 minutes per game in a reserve role. He struggled at season’s end, scoring only 11 points in his final five games on 4-for-19 shooting, including 0 for 10 from three-point range.
LaVine, 6 feet 5, is not considered NBA-ready but has elite athleticism that scouts believe could position him to be a good player in the pros.
NBAdraft.net puts LaVine in the No. 12 spot of a mock draft, while DraftExpress.com doesn’t have him in its top 25, but it’s unclear whether that accounts for LaVine’s intention to enter.
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“They love him,” his father told The Daily News, referring to scouts. “They’re picturing him at 22 (years old).”
The newspaper quoted LaVine’s godfather, Marvin Carter, as questioning some of coach Steve Alford’s decisions regarding LaVine and his role. Said Carter, in reference to UCLA’s Sweet 16, “He’s done a great job getting the players to compete. I just wish Zach had more of a chance to compete. Every year he spends at UCLA after this one is a waste, it really is.”
“It’s like a marriage,” said LaVine’s father. “If it doesn’t work out, you get a divorce. I don’t blame anybody.”
LaVine averaged 28.5 points a game for Bothell as a senior.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281