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Watson Selected in First Round of 2022 NBA Draft

Jun 23, 2022
Peyton Watson, right (photo by Brad Penner, USA Today Sports)

UCLA freshman Peyton Watson was selected in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Watson was the No. 30 overall selection by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the final pick in the first round, before being traded to the Denver Nuggets.
Watson, a 6-foot-8 guard/forward from Long Beach, Calif., became the Bruins' 42nd all-time former player to get chosen in the NBA Draft's first round. UCLA continues to lead the Pac-12 in total NBA Draft picks (122) and most first-round selections (42).

"Our program is thrilled for Peyton Watson to be selected in the NBA Draft's first round, landing with such a strong organization in the Denver Nuggets," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "Peyton has a high ceiling and Denver is getting a young player with a ton of potential. We can't wait to watch him thrive in the Mile High City, and we wish him all the best as he gets his NBA career underway."
Watson played in 32 of UCLA's 35 games during the 2021-22 season. He averaged 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game, securing honorable mention Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors at the conclusion of the regular season. Watson, who graduated from Long Beach Poly High School in 2021, ranked second on UCLA's team with 19 blocks and tallied 19 steals.
As a freshman in 2021-22, Watson was a part of UCLA's team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 and compiled a 27-8 overall record. The Bruins played in the championship game of the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas before recording NCAA Tournament wins over No. 13-seed Akron and No. 5-seed Saint Mary's.
Watson became the 122nd draft selection out of UCLA, the Bruins' first player selected in the draft's first round since Aaron Holiday in 2018 (by the Indiana Pacers).