Drafted by: Memphis Grizzlies, No. 22 overall
Height/Weight: 6'5", 209 lbs
Age: 19 years old
Projected NBA Position: Shooting Guard
Pro Comparison: Wesley Matthews
Twitter Handle: @jordanadams1231
After surprising many with a terrific freshman season at UCLA, Jordan Adams outdid himself as a sophomore by improving in almost every aspect of the game.
Adams put up some big numbers in 2013-14, producing in volume with efficiency and consistency. With an NBA-ready body and two full years of regular touches, Adams should have something to offer as a rookie in 2014-15.
|Statistics at UCLA|
Adams measured in a quarter-inch below 6'5" and weighed in at 209 pounds, down from the 220 UCLA listed him as. He's not a very flashy athlete—he actually tied for the worst max vertical leap at the NBA combine, an honor not usually associated with a guard.
However, he has a very strong frame that's built for contact. And with a 6'10" wingspan, quick hands and agility in his hips, Adams' lack of athleticism hasn't kept him from putting up plenty of points.
His limited explosiveness will ultimately cap his upside at the next level, but his physical tools should suit him well as a slasher and defender.
Slashing, Attacking, Mid-Range Scoring
Though Adams isn't the quickest, he possesses the ability to get to the basket and plow through traffic if necessary. He has excellent offensive instincts in this department; on the way to the rim, he's able to score at awkward angles and ultimately improvise or counter based on what the defense gives him.
Off the ball, Adams moves extremely well. He makes timely cuts and positions himself for catch-and-finish chances around the basket.
Despite possessing below-the-rim hops, he still finished 66.9 percent of his shots at the rim this past season, per Hoop-Math.com—a very good number for any guard. He also averaged 4.4 points at the free-throw line. Adams has no problem with contact, and in some cases, he initiates it himself to create separation.
Adams improved as a shooter this season, having raised his three-point percentage from 30.7 percent to 35.6 percent. He also sank an impressive 43.3 percent of his two-point jumpers, per Hoop-Math.com.
At the NBA combine, only two players hit more threes during spot-up drills. And he scored a respectable .913 points per play on spot-up jumpers, per DraftExpress.
He finished his sophomore year with a 60.3 percent true shooting percentage, per Sports-Reference.com, and an 83.6 percent shooting clip from the line. Adams isn't consistent yet, but there's no doubt he has the potential to evolve into a threatening NBA shooter.
Adams collected 168 steals in two years at UCLA. He possesses a natural ability to anticipate and react, and with long arms and great strength, he has a knack for stripping ball-handlers and getting into passing lanes.
At just under 6'5", Adams is slightly undersized for most 2-guards. And on most nights, he'll likely lose the athleticism battle with whomever he faces up against.
Offensively, with a 29.5-inch max vertical, he lacks that spring to elevate for easy buckets above the rim. And though he improved his three-point percentage, his consistency has suffered. Adams' mechanics tend to change when he's under pressure, and he's sometimes vulnerable to throwing up a brick.
He could also stand to improve his handle—you don't often see Adams create off the dribble.
Defensively, he tends to gamble a bit too much, and though he's more than capable of making a play on the ball, he finds himself out of position from time to time.
Adams' rebounding and passing instincts don't exactly project as strengths at the NBA level, either. At this point, he has an average jumper and a strong attack game. Adams will need to work on his complementary skills as a role player at the next level.
If given the opportunity, Adams should be able to play right away, when you take into account his two years at UCLA, strength for the position and unteachable offensive instincts. That jumper will ultimately determine just how dangerous he can be, but he should be able to score opportunistically as a rookie in a reserved role.
Adams projects as a guy who can pick up buckets with the game slowed down or sped up, whether it's as a low-end starter or high-end role player. He's a rock-solid two-way off-guard similar to the Portland Trail Blazers' Wesley Matthews. He may never make an All-Star appearance, but he should last as a mid-level contributor for years to come.