The Detroit Pistons may not have a first round draft pick, but will look to catch a steal early in the second round at pick 38. One of the projected between round guys that could go in the late first or early second round is UCLA’s Jordan Adams.
If he were to fall to the Pistons at 38, one would think they would be sprinting to the podium to announce his name. The Pistons desperately need help at the wings, and Adams has prototypical size to play shooting guard in the NBA. His 6-foot-4-inch height is nice but it’s his 6-foot-10-inch wingspan that makes all the difference in his game. Adams’ long wingspan allows him to shoot over defenders with similar size, and allows him to be extremely crafty in around the basket.
Adams arrived at UCLA as an unheralded recruit in a class that also included Shabazz Muhammad (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Kyle Anderson (Projected 2014 first round pick.) All Adams did was outplay both of them on his way to over 15 points per night his freshman season. His sophomore year he took his game to the next level, scoring over 17 points per night while raising his shooting percentage to 49%, an extremely high number for a shooter. He also took on much more of a leadership role his sophomore season, and showed well in clutch moments against the highest competition. When games mattered in March, Adams averaged 19 points per game as he and Anderson led the Bruins to the Sweet 16.
Adams showed both years that he can score with ease. He can come off a pick and nail a 3-pointer, or he can beat a defender going to the hoop. Adams is at his best when getting out in transition where he uses his long wingspan to score over any defender in the paint. He is plenty strong, and has no problem scoring after absorbing contact. He has natural instincts for scoring, and feels comfortable anywhere on the floor.
Adams is by no means an incredible athlete. He isn’t insanely fast, or have a 40-inch vertical, Adams is simply a basketball player who knows how to put the ball in the hoop. That will be his adjustment in the NBA. Can he continue to score against the best athletes in the world? The talent gap between college and the pros is immense, and it will be incredibly interesting to see how Adams adjusts his game at the next level.
Defensively Adams is hit or miss. He has an incredible knack for stealing the ball and does so 2.6 times per game. Adams use his wingspan and great anticipation to force turnovers that often lead to transition hoops going the other way. His problem is that often he plays very casual, lazy defense. He often times relies a bit too much on reaching in, and can be beat to the basket. Adams can be an adequate NBA defender, he will just have to want it.
If he falls, Jordan Adams could be a great fit in Detroit. He could space the floor with his shooting, and would no doubt make plays offensively and defensively for the Pistons. He would have competition with last year’s first round pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but isn’t that what all good teams have, competition? All our questions will be answered in just eight days, as the NBA Draft is set for June 26th.
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