UCLA forward Jaime Jaquez declares for 2023 NBA Draft

On3 imageby:Nick Schultz04/06/23


UCLA forward Jaime Jaquez has declared for the 2023 NBA Draft, he announced via Twitter Thursday. He put together an impressive year this past season en route to Pac-12 Player of the Year honors.

Jaquez could’ve tested the draft waters last year, but opted to run it back again with UCLA this season. He didn’t disappoint, turning in the best numbers of his career. He averaged 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game — all career highs — to lead the Bruins to a 31-6 overall record and an 18-2 record in Pac-12 play. Jaquez was also a consensus second team All-American this season and made the Pac-12 All-Defensive team in 2021 and 2022.

This decision isn’t much of a surprise, though. Jaquez told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony he planned on declaring for the draft entering the season.

“I knew this was my last year at UCLA coming in,” Jaquez said. “It never crossed my mind returning. I wanted to do everything I could to win a national championship, but I’m proud of everything we accomplished in my four years here.”

Jaquez is a former four-star recruit and was the nation’s No. 86-ranked player from the 2019 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking, an equally weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.

More on the 2023 NBA Draft

The 2023 NBA Draft is set to take place on Thursday, June 22, 2023, in Brooklyn at Barclays Center. Round 1 of the draft will be announced by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, while Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum is expected to handle the second round of picks.

To be eligible for the NBA Draft, players must be at least 19 years in age during the calendar year that the draft is held and at least one NBA season from their high school graduation date, or the date that would have been if they are not graduated. It is not required that player spend that one year playing college basketball, though. Players can play in either college, abroad, or the G League Ignite if they choose so.

While this is a significant change from what the rules once were, players are eligible to enter their names into the NBA Draft pool and explore their options by hiring an agent to go through the process, while still keeping their college eligibility. The deadline to make that move is on April 23 beginning at 11:59 p.m. ET. Players have until June 12 at 5 p.m. ET to withdraw their name from the pool and return to college.

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held on May 16, which is also the start of the NBA Conference Finals.