UCLA’s Norman Powell drafted in second round by Raptors

A few months ago, UCLA’s Norman Powell saw himself as a late first- or early second-round draft pick. He lasted just a little bit longer on Thursday, going No. 46 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-4 guard became the 16th pick of the round — going to the Toronto Raptors as the pick that the originally belonged to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors received the pick as part of their deal in giving up Greivis Vasquez.

In Toronto, Powell joins another Pac-12 senior in point guard Delon Wright, taken No. 20 overall as the second draftee out of the conference.

UCLA forward Kevon Looney was drafted 30th by the Golden State Warriors, falling amid concerns about his hip and back.

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UCLA’s Kevon Looney falls to Warriors at No. 30 in NBA Draft

In the green room at the Barclays Center on Thursday, Kevon Looney waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally, he and his party stood and left their table. More than 20 picks had come and gone already in the 2015 NBA Draft, and Looney — once talked about as a potential lottery pick — was still without a home.

But a few minutes later, that changed. His agent had heard word that the Golden State Warriors were about to select the UCLA forward with the No. 30 pick. Looney and his family zipped back.

“It was just nerveracking,” Looney said later. “I got a little stiff and sore; I was sitting there a long time. It was a long wait. You never know what’s going to happen.” Continue reading

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NCAA proposal could allow NBA draft entrants to return to school

Next year, college basketball players could have more leeway in their NBA draft decisions.

According to ESPN, the NCAA men’s basketball committee sponsored a proposal on Wednesday that will allow early entrants to return to school even after declaring their intentions to go pro.

The new system would allow underclassmen who are exploring their options to attend the pre-draft combine in Chicago without losing their college eligibility, though they will not be allowed to sign with an agent. The proposal, which could be approved in January, was a coordinated effort with the NBA. Continue reading

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Where will UCLA’s Kevon Looney be picked in the NBA draft?

Kevon Looney is among the 19 players who accepted invites to Thursday’s NBA draft. How long will his green-room wait last?

Once considered a near-certain lottery pick, many mock drafts have since dropped the former UCLA forward to borderline top-20 status.

Pac-12 Networks analyst Don MacLean, a former Bruin, isn’t among the detractors.

“Ten years from now, I think Kevon Looney may be the best player from this year’s draft coming out of the Pac-12,” MacLean said. “I really like him. You just don’t see guys with the length, the rebounding, the instincts. … The way he was used at UCLA, you didn’t see the entire package.”

MacLean’s projection is optimistic, but not all that outlandish. After all, the only other Pac-12 product with lottery potential is Arizona’s Stanley Johnson — a strong defender who likely won’t turn into an elite scorer.

But many questions surround Looney’s draft stock as well, some of them not helped by the Bruins’ game plan. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: A Pac-12 team could play Baylor in Australia in 2016

» Baylor is in talks to open the 2016 season in Australia, and would likely face a Pac-12 opponent.

» Less than two years after leaving Arizona State, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson has already made enemies in Austin.

» Former Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is sponsoring a bus to take 40 kids from his hometown to next week’s NBA Draft.

» Kyle Anderson is holding a basketball clinic this Saturday in memory of a childhood friend who committed suicide. Continue reading

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