If at first you don’t succeed, try again via the portal.
Arizona has signed former Alabama guard Jaden Bradley, its first addition of the offseason via the NCAA transfer portal and one it tried to land out of high school.
The 6-foot-3 Bradley started 22 games as a freshman last season at Alabama, averaging 6.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 19.8 minutes over 37 contests. He scored in double figures 11 times, with a career high of 18 in a loss to Gonzaga in December, but did not start any of the Crimson Tide’s SEC or NCAA tournament games and entered the transfer portal on April 6.
Bradley was a McDonald’s All-American and 5-star prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, ranked 26th overall by 247Sports. He picked Alabama over Arizona, Florida State, Gonzaga and Kentucky and took an official visit to the UA in August 2021.
The addition of Bradley gives Arizona another highly regarded ball handler to play alongside Kylan Boswell as well as Pelle Larsson, who has entered the NBA Draft but is expected to return for the 2023-24 season. The Wildcats also have Filip Borovicanin returning on the wing.
“He had an outstanding freshman season for one of the top programs in the country,” UA coach Tommy Lloyd said in a tweet. “We know that as he continues to grow his game, he can really make an impact on our program to help make everyone around him better.
Bradley will have a chance to play against his former team, as Arizona is reportedly taking on Alabama in Phoenix on Dec. 20.
He will also bring some baggage to Tucson. Bradley was one of at least three Alabama players identified as being at the scene of a deadly shooting in Tuscaloosa in January, though he and projected first-round pick Brandon Miller were not implicated in the shooting.
Assuming Larsson returns (and fellow NBA Draft entrant Azuolas Tubelis) does not, Arizona nine scholarship players on its roster for 2023-24 with room for four more.