UCLA star Johnny Juzang declares for NBA draft, will not hire agent

Jason Owens
·2-min read

Johnny Juzang is testing the waters. 

The breakout UCLA basketball star declared for the NBA draft on Tuesday but is declining to hire an agent in order to retain his college eligibility. He announced his decision on Twitter. 

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"For many years, I've dreamt about playing professional basketball," Juzang wrote. ... I'm proud to announce that I'm declaring for the NBA draft while retaining my college eligibility. ...

"I am going to continue to work and give the passion I always have and see where it takes me. I'll then make an informed decision."

Juzang powered UCLA's Final Four run

Juzang starred in UCLA's stunning run to the Final Four as an 11 seed that needed a First Four win over Michigan State in overtime just to qualify for the larger NCAA tournament field. It beat No. 6 seed BYU, No. 2 seed Alabama and No. 1 seed Michigan en route to the national semifinals. 

The Bruins pushed No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga to the brink in the Final Four. Only Jalen Suggs' historic 3-point heave to beat the buzzer in overtime finally put an end to UCLA's run.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - APRIL 03: Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins reacts in the second half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the 2021 NCAA Final Four semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Johnny Juzang will test the waters after seeing his stock rise with UCLA's NCAA tournament run. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Is Juzang a first-round pick?

Juzang, a 6-6 sophomore guard, was the engine of UCLA's run. He averaged 16 points, 4.1 rebounds an 1.6 assists while shooting 50.7% from the field and 35.3% from 3-point distance in his first year at UCLA after transferring from Kentucky.

Juzang's draft stock is as high as it's ever been, with some projecting him as a first-round pick after UCLA's tournament run. But opinions vary widely on Juzang's draft prospects. His decision to gather more information without hiring an agent makes sense. 

If Juzang returns to UCLA, the Bruins would be on the short list of preseason favorites to win the NCAA championship next season. 

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