Thursday, May 30, 2013

Draft Profile: Steven Adams Surprises With Offensive Skills

In the run-up to the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27, the BDD staff will be profiling several projected lottery picks and other draft entrants. Next up: Steven Adams.

Steven Adams didn't have a stellar freshman year at Pitt, but his offensive potential is high. (

Position: Center
College: Pittsburgh
Current Draft Express Prediction: No. 16 in first round, No. 16 overall to the Boston Celtics

Synopsis: You can't teach height, and Steven Adams has plenty of it. You can teach offense, but Adams already has plenty of that, too. It didn't show up as much as many were expecting during his freshman season at Pitt, but he proved himself plenty during the NBA combine.

Adams was measured 7-feet tall with shoes on and 255 pounds at the combine. Pure 7-footers will usually find a place in the league, especially when they have the offensive game of Adams. He averaged 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season at Pitt, but that was in an average of 23 minutes of playing time per game. Fans have  become spoiled by players coming in and succeeding right away in the first year of college, but those are exceptions, not rules. It takes time to adapt to a new style and level of play, as it did for Adams. That's the beauty of the combine. All the worries of the past season can be fixed with strong workouts, and Adams is proof of that.

Remember, he's only 19 years old. Yet multiple scouts and coaches have raved about his offensive talents. At this age, Adams has a tremendous amount of untapped potential. ESPN's Chad Ford said Adams was the winner of the first day of the combine, and showed his range by draining jump shots. The Celtics have been impressed, as both assistant coach Jay Larranaga and former player Brian Scalabrine have praised Adams' talent. Scalabrine told a Boston radio station, "I haven't seen him in action like five-on-five, but this kid would be a tremendous asset to the Celtics. He's strong and big and would take so much pressure off guys like Garnett. He's athletic and pretty intelligent and would fit in pretty well."

If he's still around at No. 16, Boston might be Adams' new home.

Quote to note: "I can say I was honestly stunned. Where did that come from? That's not something you develop with a few weeks with a trainer. He was way more skilled than we thought. That makes a huge difference in our evaluation of him." - an NBA general manager said of watching Adams' offensive ability during the combine, via Chad Ford.

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