The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have acquired guard Jerryd Bayless from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a conditional future first-round pick.

“We have always been very high on Jerryd as a basketball player and person,” said General Manager Dell Demps. “He is an explosive, young guard who will be able to come in and help us right away. He has the ability to do a variety of things and has stepped up many times for the Blazers when called upon. We are very excited about adding him to our team.”

Bayless (6-3, 204)  was drafted in the first round (11th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. His rights were traded along with Ike Diogu to Portland for the rights to Brandon Rush (13th pick in 2008 NBA Draft), Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts on draft night. Bayless played under current Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams in Portland for his first two seasons in the NBA.

Last season, Bayless averaged 8.5 points, 2.3 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 17.6 minutes of play over 74 games (11 starts). In those 11 games as a starter, Bayless averaged 12.6 points, 3.3 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 24.4 minutes of action. During his rookie season, Bayless appeared in 53 games,averaging 4.3 points, 1.6 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 12.4 minutes of play. The Phoenix native was named the 2008 NBA Summer League MVP after leading the league in scoring at 29.8 points per game.

Bayless spent one season at the University of Arizona before declaring for the NBA Draft. In his lone season for the Wildcats, Bayless averaged a team-high 19.7 points to go along with 4.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds. He was named second-team All-Pac-10 for his efforts. The 23-year old guard was a McDonald’s High School All-American coming out of St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix.