The final Bruin is off the market.
UCLA men's basketball guard Jules Bernard has signed a contract with the Detroit Pistons, Wasserman Basketball announced Friday on Twitter. Bernard follows in the footsteps of his now-former teammate Johnny Juzang, who signed a deal with the Utah Jazz on Thursday night immediately following the 2022 NBA Draft.
The terms of Bernard's contract with the Pistons have yet to be released. While it was not specified whether or not it was a two-way contract, Detroit does have room for one more two-way on the books after signing Buddy Boeheim late Thursday night.
Under a two-way contract, players are eligible to play in 50 of their team's 82 games, but they can not participate in the playoffs. They can, however, be moved freely between the NBA roster and their franchise's G League affiliate.
The Pistons used their two two-way slots in 2021 on Iowa forward Luka Garza – the two-time consensus All-American – and UCLA guard Chris Smith. Bernard won't be joining Smith in the organization, though, since he underwent an ACL reconstruction procedure in March and was waived in April.
Bernard is likely going to debut at the Las Vegas Summer League starting July 5, and he will more than likely start next season in the G League with the Motor City Cruise.
Although he had enough eligibility to come back to Westwood for one more season, Bernard elected to stay in the draft after graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics and showing out at the G League Elite Camp in May. Bernard did not earn an invite to the NBA Draft Combine later that week, but he did impress during his brief time in Chicago by averaging 17 points per game with a 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio between the two scrimmages.
Bernard had boasted similar production at the tail end of his UCLA career, but those numbers were a far cry from what he was putting up during his first few seasons in Westwood, when he was simply a bench piece who owned a turnover rate approaching 20%. Bernard cut that figure in more than half by his senior year, though, and he wound up becoming a key starter on UCLA teams that went to the Final Four in 2021 and Sweet 16 in 2022.
Bernard averaged 11.6 points and 4.9 rebounds across the last two seasons, including 12.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during his fourth and final campaign in Westwood. While his playmaking and scoring numbers continued to trend upwards, Bernard did see his shooting efficiency fluctuate – the Los Angeles native shot 45.4% from the field and 38.6% from 3 in his freshman and junior years, but only 41.1% from the field and 33.2% from 3 in his sophomore and senior years.
Just this past season, 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 contests of the regular season. Then, when the postseason started, Bernard's shot came back to life and he hit 42.9% of his 5.8 attempts per game in the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments.
The lefty thus ended his collegiate career on a relative personal high note, even if he couldn't lift his team to the heights they had achieved the year prior.
There were 12 UCLA alums on NBA rosters this season, and with Bernard and Juzang signing undrafted free agent contracts and Peyton Watson going No. 30 overall to the Denver Nuggets, that figure is slated to go up to 15. Only Duke and Kentucky had more this past season.