averaged 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds at Pittsburgh last season. (John W. McDonough/SI)
The Thunder selected Steven Adams with the No. 12 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here's a look at Adams and how he fits with Oklahoma City:
Bio: Pittsburgh | Freshman | Center
Vitals: 7-0, 255 pounds
2012-13 Statistics: 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 0.7 steals, 57.1 percent shooting in 32 games.
Strengths: Adams has all the physical tools to be a successful 5-man. He possesses exceptional athleticism for a 7-footer, complemented by a strong motor and a 7-5 wingspan. A late bloomer who came to Pittsburgh from New Zealand, Adams has massive potential.
Weaknesses: It could be several years before Adams is ready to contribute on the NBA level. He's the definition of raw offensively, lacking the footwork and hands needed to make an impact down low, and while he's better on defense, he can still appear lost at times. Execs have also expressed concerns about his lack of a killer instinct.
What Scouts Say: "You see him work out and he does some things athletically at that size that are impressive. He's a funny kid. Different personality than we're used to dealing with. He had no clue how to play. Remember, he's from New Zealand. It's not like he came from Lithuania, where the culture centers around basketball. He grew up on a surfboard."
Sporting one of the league's deepest and most talented rosters, the Thunder are perfectly positioned to take on projects as they search for their post-Kendrick Perkins
center of the future. Adams is certainly a project, but one blessed with some athletic skills that could see him develop into an effective pro down the line. With the ability to bring back both Perkins and reserve big man Hasheem Thabeet
next season, it's possible Adams gets the Jeremy Lamb
and Perry Jones
treatment and barely sniffs the court in Year 1. Oklahoma City has struck out before when it comes to young big men -- Cole Aldrich
and Daniel Orton
come to mind -- and here they are simply taking another crack with an affable Kiwi who reportedly aced his pre-draft interviews.