Jules Bernard's stay in Chicago has been cut short.
The UCLA men's basketball guard participated in the G League Elite Camp on Monday and Tuesday, averaging 17 points per game across the two scrimmages to stand out as one of the event's top scorers. Those performances were not enough to earn Bernard a late invite to the NBA Draft Combine, though, which will take place from Wednesday through Friday.
Darius Days, Kenny Lofton Jr., Tyrese Martin, Jared Rhoden, Marcus Sasser, Bryson Williams and Jalen Wilson were the seven participants who did get the call up to the NBA combine.
Bernard would have joined teammates Johnny Juzang and Peyton Watson at the combine if he had made the cut. Unlike those two, Bernard retained his collegiate eligibility when he declared for the 2022 NBA Draft back on April 19. It remains to be seen if Bernard will sign with an agent now that he has failed to make it to the combine, or if he will rethink his plans ahead of the June 1 withdrawal deadline.
The unofficial measurement numbers the G League provided to the media had Bernard at 6-foot-5 without shoes on, despite the UCLA roster listing him at 6-foot-7 this season. Bernard weighed in at 206.8 pounds with an 8-foot-5 standing reach, 6-foot-7 wingspan and 35.5-inch maximum vertical.
Bernard led Team Three to a 90-87 victory on Day 1, stuffing the stat sheet and stringing together quite the highlight reel. Bernard's 18 points, three steals and +12 plus/minus were all team-highs, and he also added two assists and a block without recording a turnover in his 23 minutes of action.
The UCLA product shot 6-of-14 from the field, 1-of-4 from 3 and 5-of-8 from the free throw line. Bernard notably led the Pac-12 with a 81.8% free throw percentage this past season.
From coast-to-coast and-1 layups and sidestep midrange jumpers, Bernard proved himself capable of using both hands to create in the half court and on the fast break. The play that got Bernard the most attention Monday, though, was when he went 1-on-1 with North Carolina forward Brady Manek on the left wing.
Bernard hit Manek with a few crossovers before stepping back and drilling a 3-pointer, a signature move of his that he used to greatest effect against Alabama in the 2021 Sweet 16.
Bernard was unable to come away with another win on Day 2, as Team Three fell to Team Two 111-94.
Coming off the bench in his second outing of the showcase, Bernard put up 16 points, four assists and two rebounds in just over 21 minutes while still posting the second-best plus/minus on his team. Bernard shot 4-of-9 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line with still only one turnover, although he did go 0-for-2 from 3.
The lack of giveaways is right in line with Bernard's development in Westwood over the past four years. Bernard's turnover rate as a freshman was 18.7%, and his 17.5% mark his sophomore year was similarly among the worst on the team.
As a junior, though, Bernard cut it down to 11.6%, and his 7.7% turnover rate as a senior was the lowest in the entire Pac-12.
The spotty 3-point shooting also mirrored his college numbers, as Bernard shot 38.6% from deep as a freshman and junior but 33.2% as a sophomore and senior.
This past year, Bernard was shooting 45.7% from beyond the arc on 4.6 attempts per game across his first 10 appearances before shooting 23.5% on 4.5 attempts across the last 19 games of the regular season. Then, when the postseason started, Bernard's shot came back to life and he shot 42.9% on 5.8 attempts per game in the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments.
Bernard has averaged 11.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game since becoming a regular starter back in 2020. If he does end up returning to UCLA, Bernard would only need to appear in 18 contests next year in order to break Michael Roll's all-time program record of 147 games played.