With the NBA Draft Lottery behind us, we shift our focus directly to the June 26th NBA Draft. Over the next month we’ll look at some of the top prospects in the draft, along with players that the Magic either reportedly worked out, or interviewed at the NBA Draft Combine. UCLA’s leading scorer Jordan Adams, whom the team interviewed at the NBA Draft Combine, is next.
After two productive years at UCLA, shooting guard Jordan Adams is on his way to the NBA. Adams, who came in in the same recruiting class as Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson, finished second on the team in scoring his freshman season and led the team his sophomore year. Adams’ strong play led to him being selected to the All-Pac-12 First Team following his sophomore season.
In both seasons as a Bruin, Adams had a large role in the offense, especially relative to his age on a team that loves veteran guards. While his numbers his freshman season are more than respectable, his numbers his sophomore season truly jump off the page. Taking a larger role in the offense, Adams was able to be an even more efficient player in multiple facets of the game. To go along with his increase in scoring, rebounding, assists, shooting, and overall offensive efficiency; Adams was also more of a menace on the defensive end, raising his steal percentage from 4.2 to 5.0.
|Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Max Vert|
|6’ 4.75||209||6’ 10”||8’ 6”||29.5|
- Offensive game
On the offensive end of the court, Adams does a little bit of everything. He’s got a knack for scoring and proved able to fill it up in multiple ways. Not only is Adams a solid jumpshooter, he’s got great instincts that help him to be an effective cutter off the ball to get easy shots around the basket. Add in his ability to post up and him picking the most opportune times to get out in transition, and you have one of the most well-rounded offensive players in the draft.
- Defensive upside
Even though he’s got a long way to go, there are some things that stand out about Adams on the defensive end. According to DraftExpress, Adams tied for first in steals per-40 minutes with Marcus Smart and Fuquan Edwin, picking his opponents pocket 3.5 times per game. He’s got great instincts when it comes to knowing when to jump passing lanes or attempt to pick his opponents pocket. Adams still has a lot of work to do on that end overall, but has some great physical tools and a good instinctive base that should help him become a solid defender at the next level.
Despite having a solid frame and good strength, Adams is somewhat limited in the athleticism department. He’s slightly undersized for the shooting guard spot, however, his long wingspan helps him make up for some of his lack height wise. The biggest concern with Adams and his athleticism is his general lack of quickness and explosiveness. At the NBA Draft Combine, Adams finished tied for last in max vertical jump, which could cause him problems when he’s trying to finish around bigger NBA players. He’s got good instincts, which helps him overcome his lack of speed and explosiveness, but could be challenged more at the NBA level.
- Creating Ability
With all the strengths in his offensive game, Adams does have some weaknesses as well. He’s not a great ball handler, and he struggles creating for himself off the dribble. Last season, Adams shot a mere 29 percent off the dribble, per DraftExpress, and his lack of speed and explosiveness limit him there as well. He struggles to create separation from defenders off the dribble, which could hurt him some early at the next level.
Adams is a guy who can “get buckets” and get them in a hurry. He was arguably the most productive [and inarguably the least heralded] of the three swingmen who arrived at UCLA prior to the 2012-13 season, and raised some eyes in doing so. He can be a guy who can come in and be a spark off your bench right away, and with the right grooming and work could become a starter down the line.
Adams will most likely be picked in the mid-to-late portion of the first round, so the Magic are currently out of position to select him. Adams is a guy who could come in and fill a void Orlando: a shooter who can score in a multitude of ways off the bench and doesn’t require the ball in his hands to do so. The fit is there, it’s just a matter of whether they feel like he’s worth the 12th selection, and if not how far back they can comfortably trade and still get him.