Amari Bailey Prospect Watch: A Potential Sneaky Riser

Amari Bailey
Photo via UCLA Athletics

The San Antonio Spurs have officially ended their season and their spot in the lottery is just about solidified. They will have to flip a coin with the Rockets to determine odds on some other potential picks but will be in the top-3 for odds at the first pick. However, the Spurs will also have a couple of other picks in this draft and that is where we will focus for this week’s prospect in UCLA freshman Amari Bailey.

The 6-foot-5, 185-pound combo guard played on one of the best teams in the country this past season. He came into the season as a projected lottery pick and has fallen a bit because the PAC12 was a weak conference overall and he hasn’t been as dominant as people thought he would be at UCLA. However, he still had a nice season and showed flashes of his NBA talent. Here are his stats from his lone season in L.A.

  • 11.2 PPG, 1.1 SPG, 2.2 APG, 3.8 RPG, 2.4 TOPG
  • 49.5 FG%, 38.9 3P%, 69.8 FT%
  • 16.4 PER, 101.0 ORtg, 92.8 DRtg

Amari Bailey Breakdown

While Bailey’s numbers don’t look super impressive, he was also playing behind seasoned guards in Tyger Campbell and Jaylen Clark. His per-40 minutes numbers and per-100 possessions numbers would suggest that his scoring skills translate to the next level. He has the athleticism and explosiveness to make a difference in the NBA.

The lefty is a talented scorer who can get to his spots in the mid-range and is crafty finishing around the rim. He’s fantastic in transition and he is fast in the open court but knows how to slow down and use his handle in the half-court. Despite playing about 27 minutes a game, Bailey showed an advanced feel for the game and should look good in workouts.

One of the holes in Bailey’s game right now is that he is a reluctant shooter from deep. His shooting percentage from there would suggest he should be taking more of those shots. He has to work on his decision-making as he’s turned the ball over too many times in his relatively short time on the court. If he can get that cleaned up, he should find himself getting some early playing time for whoever drafts him.

Bailey is a great athlete worth taking a swing on later in the first round or early second. He will likely start making his way up draft boards during workouts and the combine though. Don’t be surprised if he ends up near the lottery in the end.


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