The Factors in Farmar's Decision

Jordan Farmar

With the deadline for underclassmen to withdraw their name from the NBA Draft looming, UCLA sophomore point guard Jordan Farmar has a big decision to make, and soon. Here's a rundown on the factors that are playing into Farmar's decision, and the chances of him returning to UCLA...

Jordan Farmar has a big decision to make.

The sophomore point guard, who led UCLA to the NCAA Championship game last season, has submitted his name to the NBA Draft and has until Sunday, June 18th, to withdraw his name if he wished to return to UCLA.

While there have been many sports commentators and writers saying in various ways that he was definitely staying in the NBA Draft, writing things like "He's gone" or "It's done," we have maintained that those conclusions have been completely inaccurate. As we've reported repeatedly, sources have indicated that Farmar is still very unsure about his decision.

Farmar, when he decided to submit his name for the draft, said from the beginning that he would only keep his name in if he were given a first-round guaranteed by an NBA team.

Farmar has yet to receive that guarantee. He, of course, has until Sunday to get a guarantee, but many NBA sources have indicated that it is highly unlikely.

Farmar's best chance at getting drafted in the first round comes from the New Jersey Nets, who have both the #22 and #23 picks in the first round. The Nets have made clear indications they wish to draft a point guard, and they had Farmar out to New Jersey for a workout. The workout reportedly went well and the Nets are seriously considering Farmar. However, it's fairly uncertain whether the Nets will actually take Farmar with one of those two first-round picks. There are some NBA sources that have indicated that the Nets would more likely opt for Kyle Lowry, the 6-0 sophomore point guard from Villanova, mostly because of his superior athleticism.

In any case, New Jersey hasn't, and almost certainly won't, provide Farmar a guarantee that they will choose him in the first round. For New Jersey, however, it also behooves them not to discourage Farmar from keeping his name in the draft. With the draft, anything can happen - many point guards could be taken before New Jersey's picks, including Lowry, and the Nets could take Farmar.

But for Farmar, taking that risk, without a guarantee, is a considerable gamble. While the draft seldom goes the way many of the pundits predict, it also could go unpredictable against Farmar, with more point guards or other projected lottery picks slipping to the point New Jersey could opt for them. It's one reason why it was unlikely that New Jersey would provide Farmar the guarantee, just in case such a windfall did occur.

Bottom line - without the guarantee, it's a crap shoot for Farmar to keep his name in the draft if he wants to be a first-round pick.

Given all of this information, Scout.com's Frank Burlison, who is clearly the best at projecting the draft of anyone in the country, recently updated his first-round mock draft and projected that New Jersey would take Lowry, and Farmar would slip out of the first round.

There is also, of course, always the chance that another team could defy expectation and take Farmar with their first-round pick. But it'd be highly unlikely that a team would take Farmar if they didn't have him in for a workout. The teams that did work out Farmar were the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, the Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns. The Kings have the #19 pick, but the word lately from NBA sources is that they wouldn't take Farmar. The Suns draft at #21 and #27 but, according to an NBA draft source, they want Sergio Rodriguez, a 6-3 guard from Spain, and told Farmar that it'd be best for him to return to school. An NBA source said that the Lakers, who pick at #26, also told Farmar that a return to college for his junior would be the best choice for him.

To our knowledge, Farmar hasn't participated in any additional workouts this week and has none planned for the next couple of days before the withdraw deadline Sunday.

There is always a chance, however, that Farmar would keep his name in the draft without a first-round guarantee. There could be other factors that lead to Farmar not adhering to the original condition that he would not keep his name in the draft without the guarantee.

Given all of these factors, though, and the same indications from the same sources we've been citing for the last several weeks, we still maintain that there is at least as good a chance that Farmar announces he will return to UCLA for his junior year as there is that he will keep his name in the draft.

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