Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Draft Prospect Profile: Jordan Adams
Editor's Note: The Knicks acquired two draft picks in Wednesday's trade with Dallas -- Nos. 34 and 51 in Thursday's Draft. We've been breaking down some potential options, which you can find here. Below is just one of the many promising prospects New York could consider:
Jordan Adams SG
19 years old
17.4 PPG | 48.5 FG% | 35.6 3P% | 2.3 Ast | 2.6 Stl
It’s difficult to imagine how a player as talented as Adams could slip to the 2nd round, but with the 34th pick now in their possession, Knicks fans can dream about a variety of intriguing possibilities. The draft is an inexact science and teams’ boards all look different, so because it’s such a deep class, some players projected to go in the 20s could just as easily go in the lottery or be available when New York picks.
Adams and his UCLA teammate Kyle Anderson are two of my favorite prospects in the class; both highly productive college players whose talent supersedes most draft projections. They “fall” because neither is overly athletic, but both have freakishly long wingspans and mature skillsets that appear ready-made for the next level. Known as a shooter out of Oak Hill Academy, Adams was more varsatile than advertised and it helped him stand as a Bruin despite being one of four likely 1st round picks competing for touches on the perimeter.
Commonly linked to teams toward the bottom of the 1st round, a glance at the numbers shows that Adams could be a steal even as a lottery pick. Might sound cazy, but it's not. Analytics guru Layne Vashro's projection model says he’s the 7th-best shooting guard to enter the draft in the last 30 years. Thanks to a unique ability to create offense, his prospect profile compares to the likes of Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade.
Adams is an elite finisher – his 1.376 points per shot at the rim ranked 2nd among DraftExpress top 100 shooting guards – and he got to the line 6.6 times per 40 minutes, where he shot 84 percent. He improved his 3-point shooting percentage from his freshman (30.7) to sophomore (35.6) season and his player efficiency rating ranked No. 1 among all shooting guards in the class. To top things off, Adams also had the best rebound rate and the 2nd-best steal rate of the group.
He impacts the game in so many ways that the eye test supports some of the lofty projections. Games are not won in mid-May at the NBA’s scouting combine, but players will be drafted ahead of him based on perceived potential and vertical jump. Adams won't outjump opponents, but he's still just 19 years old, with length you can’t teach and incredible feel for the game. It would be a mistake to assume he's hit his ceiling and for teams in need of help on the wing, there's a decent chance he'd be ready to contribute immediately.