The Grizzlies selected Jordan Adams with the No. 22 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here’s a look at Adams and how he fits with Memphis:
Bio: UCLA | Sophomore | Shooting guard
Vitals: 6-5, 209 pounds
2013-14 stats: 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.6 steals, 48.5 FG%, 35.6 3FG%
Strengths: Adams initially said he would return to UCLA after his sophomore season, but then reversed course and declared for the draft. He is a skilled scorer who has a variety of means for getting off shots and a good understanding of how to exploit defenders’ weaknesses. His vast repertoire includes pulling up for jumpers, spotting up in transition and posting up. Among teammates who used at least 16 percent of UCLA’s possessions last season, Adams posted the highest offensive rating (121.5). With his long wingspan (6-10), Adams is proficient at slapping the ball away; he ranked in the top 10 nationally in steal percentage (5.0).
Weaknesses: Adams helped himself by showing up to the draft combine 22 pounds lighter than his playing weight at UCLA. Still, average athleticism and explosiveness and a need for better conditioning are concerns. Can Adams find ways to launch good shots against more athletic NBA defenders? Though Adams was proficient at recording steals, he is by no means an elite one-on-one defender, as his lack of lateral quickness makes him vulnerable to getting beat off the dribble.
Team fit: Though frequently described as one of the draft’s least athletic guards, Jordan Adams is a gifted scorer that deepens the Memphis backcourt. He could provide a scoring punch alongside Mike Conley and pair with Tony Allen at the two for a potentially useful offense-defense tandem. Adams isn’t a great on-ball defender but uses long arms to create steals and deflections. For a Grizzlies team looking to stay in the playoff hunt, if Adams proves his nose for the basket translates at the NBA level, this could be a nice pick. However, with better shooters like Rodney Hood and P.J. Hairston still on the board, Memphis had better hope they’re right here.