Malcolm Lee Looks to Bounce from Howland’s Joyless UCLA Program

This is it? (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

The annual fleeing bouncing from Ben Howland's program is not over. Multiple fanshots have popped up about Malcolm Lee "testing" the NBA waters. The Los Angeles Times reports that he is not hiring an agent ...

Then, in an impromptu nightcap, a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to comment publicly until an announcement is made confirmed that junior guard Malcolm Lee would also declare for the draft, though he would not hire an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning for his senior season.

Lee, projected by one mock draft to be selected early in the second round, will announce his decision in a teleconference Tuesday morning. He can begin working out for NBA teams once he fully recovers from knee surgery in a few weeks and has until May 8 to withdraw his name from the draft and preserve his amateur eligibility.

It will be nervous time for many until May 8. Other publications such as nbadraft.net has the following ominous comments from Malcolm's Dad:

His father, Toshio Lee, told NBADraft.net's Rodney Halprin on Monday Night, "Malcolm is in. He has received experiences that will last a lifetime and I would recommend any kid go there." He also spoke very highly of Coach Ben Howland and UCLA.

That sounds very classy but there is a hint of finality in those sentiments that should make everyone who follow UCLA hoops concerned. Heavy rumors are swirling right now that Lee is all but gone.

Ben Howland's staff could think that Lee might come back after testing the waters but they have been caught with their pants down before (i.e. Jrue Holiday and recruitments of McCallum and Zeigler).

If it Lee bounces, it will be another bad sign of Howland's  joyless program in Westwood. There will be no spinning around that.

At the end whatever Lee decides to do, it will not have an impact on our setting of expectations for an elite season next year. Howland will need to find a way to make it work.

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