Former Pac-12 All-Freshman Team Player Amari Bailey Inks Two-Way Deal with Charlotte Hornets

UCLA Bruins guard Amari Bailey becomes highest draft pick (No. 41) to secure two-way contract with Charlotte Hornets

Former Pac-12 All-Freshman Team member and ex-UCLA Bruins guard, Amari Bailey, has set a new milestone by becoming this year’s highest draft pick (No. 41) to ink a distinctive two-way contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Rather than being immediately placed on the team’s standard 15-player roster, Bailey has embraced a strategic move that opens an exciting chapter in his NBA journey.

During an exclusive conversation with Sarah Efress from The Charlotte Observer, Bailey delved into his immersive experience as he embarked on his first technical NBA endeavor during the recent off-season. He made his presence felt by donning the Hornets’ colors and participating in the electrifying Summer League in Las Vegas.

Standing at an impressive height of 6 feet 5 inches, Bailey demonstrated his versatility as a swingman throughout seven exhilarating Summer League games. Within an average playing time of 16.1 minutes per game, he showcased his skills and contributed with an average of 9.3 points, leaving a remarkable impression on fans and critics alike.

As the Sierra Canyon School alum entered the professional realm, his college basketball feats couldn’t be overlooked. Over the course of 30 games for the UCLA Bruins, Bailey stood out with 28 starts. He displayed his prowess by maintaining an average of 11.2 points per game, displaying a commendable .495 field goal percentage, .389 three-point shooting accuracy, and a .698 free throw percentage. Bailey’s dynamic presence was further underscored by his contributions in rebounds, assists, and steals, averaging 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.1 steals each night.

“It was just an amazing experience, being able to spend time with some of the guys on the team and the coaches as well. I feel like we have a great family dynamic around the whole organization,” Bailey said. “Given us being somewhat of a younger team, I feel like I can come in and just work right with everyone else. I feel like we’re very hungry, so there’s a lot to look forward to here.”

Assistant coach Bruce Kreutzer, a perceptive judge of talent, highlighted Bailey’s unique strength in playing effectively in the post. This versatile ability of Bailey to adapt to different positions on the court enhances his value as a player. Kreutzer emphasized this aspect while discussing Bailey’s capabilities with Efress, offering insights into the player’s potential impact on the Hornets’ gameplay strategy.

“He’s one of those guys that just has the ability to get to the rim, and he’s very cagey, crafty,” Kreutzer said. “He puts his head down and goes.”

Amari Bailey’s decision to opt for a two-way contract with the Charlotte Hornets reflects his ambition to carve a distinctive path in the NBA. By shunning the traditional route of securing a spot in the standard roster, Bailey is setting an example of innovative career progression that aligns with his skills and aspirations. As he continues to evolve as a player and an individual, Bailey’s journey from Pac-12 excellence to professional prominence is a captivating storyline that promises excitement in the seasons to come.

Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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