Grizzlies select UCLA G Jordan Adams in NBA draft
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Memphis Grizzlies ended up with two players in the NBA draft: first-round pick Jordan Adams from UCLA and Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes, who is returning to his hometown.
Stokes was selected 35th by Utah on Thursday and then dealt to Memphis in exchange for a 2016 second round pick. The swap came after Memphis selected Adams with the 22nd overall pick.
''I think we got talent, and potentially these guys could serve some needs,'' Grizzlies interim general manager Chris Wallace said. ''You can never have too many guys who can shoot the basketball and score. Jordan Adams is an accomplished scorer and rebounding (from Stokes) is an important commodity in the NBA.''
Adams, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who played two seasons at UCLA, is a known scorer and with 3-point range. He also has a reputation for being an adequate defender, which would fit into the mindset of one of the best defensive teams in the league.
Adams, a first team All-Pac 12 selection last season, averaged 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He also added 2.6 steals a game.
''This guy really is a very high analytics player,'' Wallace said of Adams.
Stokes, a 6-foot-9 forward, played three years at Tennessee. He impressed the Grizzlies during his pre-draft workout, one of the few in which he participated. Stokes was involved in a car accident during the workout period and sat out several auditions with a concussion.
''He's a power player, a rebounder,'' Wallace said. ''I'm not saying that's all he can do, but we've lost games to guys like that in the past. ...We've never had a guy in our bullpen, so to speak, that is a tough guy rebounder, like Jarnell, to bring off the bench. He's got a tremendous amount of upside.''
Stokes, who played high school basketball in Memphis, is also considered a good passer with a strong foundation to maneuver around the basket. He seemed delighted to be returning home.
''Grew up a Grizz fan! God has a plan!'' Stokes tweeted after the trade was official.
The Grizzlies entered the draft touting the desire for a possible backup point guard or a long-range shooter to help with the scoring on a team that averaged 96 points last season, near the bottom of the league.
Adams worked out for Memphis earlier in the draft preparations, and he was supposed to return for a second workout this week, but was stymied by travel problems. After picking Adams, the Grizzlies went to work to find a second pick, calling a number of teams in order to secure Stokes.
''We chased him the rest of the draft, offering situations and goodies for these teams and couldn't make a deal,'' Wallace said. ''And we chased him all the way to Utah at 35.''
The draft was the first for the Grizzlies since a front office upheaval last month that led to the departure of chief executive officer Jason Levien and player personnel director Stu Lash, dispatched by majority owner Robert Pera. Chris Wallace took charge temporarily returning to an active role as general manager with John Hollinger staying as vice president of basketball operations.
A foursome of Pera, Wallace, Hollinger and head coach Dave Joerger, who conducted many of the draft workouts, were the prime decision-makers for the franchise in the draft.