5 - Amari Bailey

6-4, 190 Point Guard/Shooting Guard
UCLA Freshman
02/17/04 (19.8 yrs)
Chicago, IL
High School
Sierra Canyon
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling
89 Overall:

NBA Comparison: Jerryd Bayless

Strengths: Bailey is a 6’4 190 southpaw guard with adequate length (6’7 wingspan) and strength to match up fine in the backcourt in most situations … Also is a decent athlete with solid leaping skills, body control and short area quickness … Able to competently operate both on and off the ball offensively, which will give teams some lineup flexibility when he’s on the court … Comfortable operating in the pick and roll game and can slash, pull up or make simple dump-offs to bigs depending on how he’s played (49.5 FG%, 2.2 APG) … Solid downhill dribble drive player; is a tricky guy for defenders to prevent from getting to the lane due to his good handle and 1st step … Strong enough to handle contact and convert near the hoop (52 FG% inside the arc as a Fr.) … Is effective in transition as well, where his footwork and creativity as a finisher shines most … Will occasionally make timely cuts to the rim behind the defense for easy layups … One of the better mid-range players in the 2023 Draft class; shoots a good amount of pull-up jumpers and is solid hitting them from the 15-18 ft area…Was efficient with his feet set and space on the perimeter as a Fr. too, though his attempts are limited (39 3FG%, 21 made 3s) … Tough defender; takes pride in guarding the other team’s top perimeter player and has the makings of a potential defensive stopper in the backcourt…Moves his feet and forces difficult shots, but also can be a pest with his active hands to get deflections and steals (1.1 SPG) … Good basketball IQ and on-court awareness; puts himself in position to make plays on both ends of the court … Competitive; seems to embrace physical play and doesn’t back down from challenges or big moments … Didn’t have the ball in his hands as much in college as expected, especially earlier in the season, but the experience playing off-ball could help mold his overall game..Hit stride and played his best basketball during the most critical stretch of his team’s season, which is something encouraging to build on …

Weaknesses: More of a tweener than a combo guard at the moment on both ends of the court … Can operate as a secondary ball-handler but doesn’t have the playmaking instincts or natural feel for the game to be a true PG … In addition, doesn’t have the confidence in his 3-pointer or (in some matchups) the size to fit seamlessly on the wing full-time … More comfortable with the ball than without it, but his decision-making was often too spotty this past season and will need to continue to improve at the next level to justify on-ball responsibilities (2.2:2.4 A:TO) … Sometimes tries to force the action and has plenty of moments when he should pick his spots better … Doesn’t always handle help defense, traps or hedges well and tends to be a bit erratic when the defense collapses on him … Jump shooting mechanics need work; has a slower release and below average elevation which may limit the types of shots he can take against contests from NBA-level athletes and gives pause to his efficiency as a Fr. translating to the next level … Will pass up open jumpers on the perimeter and attempt lower percentage shots, a tendency that wont hold up if teams dive his screens and dare him to shoot (1.7 3FGA/G) … Not a creative scorer (11.2 PPG), wont show much misdirection or improvisation in his game … Below average production getting to and converting at the charity stripe for a guard (70 FT% on 2.1 FTA/G) … Some versatility offensively, but doesn’t particularly stand out in many areas …

Overall: Amari Bailey has one of the most touted and highly scrutinized prospects over the past 5 years or so, having been featured on Lifetime’s “Bringing Up Ballers” at around 13 years old and making a name for himself playing on the Sierra Canyon program around the Los Angeles area during his HS years … He was a standout immediately as a Fr and was seen as the #1 player in the 2022 HS Class on many recruiting sites by the time it was his Sr. season … Injuries hampered him a bit in 21-22 but he still was a consensus 5-star recruit before going to UCLA and playing for Mick Cronin … Cronin is a no nonsense, defensive-minded coach that your typical blue chip recruit may struggle to adapt to, and Bailey unsurprisingly went through some of those growing pains that cooled off the lottery pick hype he had in the preseason … He was in a perimeter rotation that was full of experienced upperclassmen and had to play more of a secondary role for a chunk of the season, but a key injury allowed him to take on more responsibilities as his Fr. campaign progressed and he really started to thrive down the stretch on both ends of the court … He embraced the physical, assignment sound defensive approach of his coach and emerged as a strong 2-way player…It feels like Bailey didn’t get to showcase his offensive ability to the fullest extent at UCLA, but you could see the confidence grow and the speed of the game slow down for him as the year progressed…He also played well in pre-draft workouts and scrimmages to further solidify his stock and build on the momentum from the end of the season…NBA teams will be encouraged by Bailey’s toughness, defense, mid-range game, and competitive nature as a prospect … He offers some versatility and is willing to adapt his game to do whatever he can to help his team win … Improving his confidence as a shooter and his decision making with the ball will be key to determining his upside and what role he will play at the next level, but Bailey has re-established himself as a potential draft pick in the 2023 Draft and currently has projections in the early-to-mid 2nd round ,,,

Notes: Measured 6′ 3.25” barefoot, 8′ 7.50” standing reach, 190.8 lbs and a 6′ 7.00” wingspan and a 28.5 inch standing vertical and a 35′ inch max vertical at the 2023 NBA Draft Combine …

Jorrye Nixon 6/16/23