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June 26, 2013

Steven Adams in the Lottery

Filed under: Basketball,Draft,NBA — Chas @ 2:39 pm

This is not a strong draft. If you have been following the NBA draft chatter since April, you have been hearing this. Expect to hear plenty more of it in the next 36 hours (leading up to and after the draft). As such, Steven Adams is sitting at the end of the lottery. Most projections have him going anywhere from 7 to 14. 10-12 being the most reasonable zone.

Depending on who you want to read, Adams is either undervalued or overvalued.

Overrated:

If he goes in the lottery … Steven Adams
Considering all of [Alex] Len’s flaws, how can a really poor man’s version of Len sneak into the top 14? Didn’t any scouts watch Pitt play this past season? Adams is raaaaaaaaaw. If he didn’t get stuff off the offensive glass, he barely got touches in the Panthers’ offense. He has poor hands. Even in a draft with this many question marks, the lottery is way, way too high for a long-term project like Adams.

Underrated:

Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh — Adams is a just a perfect specimen. He can run, jump, catch and can even shoot a little, and though he struggled to break through in his only year at Pitt, some of that was due to the Panthers’ guards not sharing the ball, and the depth up front that Pitt had. Adams needs to develop, but the positive signs are there.

Yeah, that helps.

Here’s the thing. It’s not if Adams is overrated or underrated. Or if he should go that high. He almost certainly will. He’s loaded with potential, and in a draft that has no sure things, you are not wrong late in the lottery to roll the dice on a guy with such a high ceiling. If Adams takes longer to develop or is even a bust, he’s hardly the first or last. Especially in the second half of the lottery.

Just look at the picks in the 7-14 in past drafts. Here. Here. Here (good god, Joe Alexander went #8!!!). Here. Here. You get the idea.

As the anonymous scout report from Seth Davis notes:

Regular readers know all about Finch. He is an amalgam of five NBA scouts whom I talked to in recent weeks to get their insights into the main college prospects in this year’s draft. Since NBA teams don’t like to give away secrets (as if there are any), the scouts spoke with me on the condition that I would grant them anonymity. This also allowed them to tell me what they really think. I’ll warn you now: It isn’t always pretty.

(Incidentally, I must give credit as always to my colleague Alex Wolff for coming up with the pseudonym Finch. Several years ago, he assigned it to an anonymous scout whom he followed for several months for an SI magazine story. Alex, he of the literary bent, chose the name because it was the character Scout’s surname in To Kill A Mockingbird.)

I cherry picked the highlights of what the scouts had to say and gathered them as if they were said by a single person named Finch. Can you feel the draft? Good. Here’s what Finch had to say about this year’s crop. It’s everything you need to know from A (Adams) to Z (Zeller):

Steven Adams, 7-foot center, Pittsburgh: “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.”

He’s handled everything well to this point. His interviews have been solid. He’s been personable. And for Pitt partisans, he has said nothing but glowing things about Pitt and Coach Jamie Dixon. And Jamie Dixon will join the trend of college coaches being on-hand (and on-camera) at the Draft to “support” their player getting drafted.

I’m looking forward to the Big Kiwi’s big night.





nobody is crucifying Adams. How come everytime a negative comment is made about a Pitt guy (Adams, HCPC, etc), people go apesh*t.

My point is that because the way things turned out, it was a disaster, mainly because we put our eggs all in his basket. Again, I remember when the backup center (still can’t remember his name) transferred out last December and nobody was worried because we had Adams for another years or two … yea right! Also, who’s to say that someone like BeeJay Anye, who was high on Pitt and a teammate of James Robinson, shied away because he thought he wouldn’t get much PT behind Adams for the next year or 2?

I liked Adams as a pickup, routed for him, was disappointed when he decided to leave, and hope he does very well tonight and in the near future …. but to be honest, looking back, I believe Pitt would now be in better shape had he not attended here.

Comment by wbb 06.27.13 @ 6:32 pm

wbb, The reason can’t remember his name is because he wasn’t any good. Where is the disaster? Last years team exceeded preseason expectations and your “disaster” scenario is based on imaginary players not coming here that you don’t know to exist let alone assume they made choices based on Adams status. What concrete positive difference would have been gained by Adams not having come to Pitt? Would last years team have been better? Would next years? I don’t see any great available “eggs” who were diverted from our basket because of Adams. I admit the basket looks a little light right now but it remains to be seen as to how next year will pan out. I repeat where is the disaster?

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.27.13 @ 6:51 pm

@wbb
Last year was far from a disaster. We rebounded from a horrid season, made the NCAA tourney and had some lovely wins.
Adams left because of money. Gilbert left I suppose in part because of Adams and JD didn’t have a plan B.
But calling the challenge of 2013-14 a disaster is premature at the least and sells Adams short.
If Adams had stayed one more year there were no guarantees.
I just don’t see what is gained by labeling our first 1st round draft pick a ” disaster”. Recruits in a year snot give a crap, but will be persuaded by the FACT that Pitt had a lottery pick.
To 17 year olds, 1 year is an eternity.
INRI

Comment by Sfpitt 06.27.13 @ 6:56 pm

I agree last year wasn’t a disaster but I honestly believe Adams’ presence was not as big factor as many seem to believe.

But more than that, I really believe the program is worse off because of his one and done … same as Birch, who I thought ended up hurting the program in the ling run.

But PLEASE … I have nothing personal against Adams, I really like the kid and hope he does well

Comment by wbb 06.27.13 @ 7:16 pm

Malcolm Gilbert said he left so he could play with his brother and be closer to his family. He was a good kid and a good student. He wasn’t going to make any big contribution here unless he found some game that he hasn’t yet demonstrated. He helped provide depth at center in practice and the fact that he was being redshirted as a sophomore says it all. He might, repeat might, have helped provide depth next year. He was no big loss and his departure is certainly no “disaster”. Keith Starr tearing his knee, Reynolds last second heroics, Nasir’s foul, those were disasters.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.27.13 @ 7:22 pm

wbb, I agree that Birch hurt the program by leaving. He could have made a big impact on last season and certainly would have helped his freshman year. Next year he would have been poised to be a star in the ACC. Instead he is playing out west, but we had better get used to a generation of players that come and go. It is the new normal and there are no guarantees or certainties. I think Dixon will actually benefit by developing players who want to be here. This coming season will be a chance to see if he can coach. Don’t be surprised if he gets a lot out of the “disaster squad!”

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.27.13 @ 7:33 pm

Adams @12 to old thunder. Congrats to kiwi Steve! HTTP!

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 06.27.13 @ 7:53 pm

How dare ESPN list Adams as 7′!

Comment by wbb 06.27.13 @ 7:53 pm

Adams gets picked ahead of Olynec, Muhamed ,and Plumlee.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.27.13 @ 7:54 pm

by old meant OKC

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 06.27.13 @ 7:55 pm

did you notice that Bilas had fellow Dukie Plumlee listed higher than Adams and Olenyk? We’ll see how long Plumlee lasts

Comment by wbb 06.27.13 @ 8:00 pm

Check out the colors of Adam’s hanky…

link to triblive.com

Comment by Jackagain 06.27.13 @ 9:01 pm

There is a reason Bilas does not get asked to comment on NBA matters.
I have it on good authority that Adams will publicly thank the Blather faithful!

Comment by Sfpitt 06.27.13 @ 9:06 pm

Wow. Adams @ 12. I’ll never be a NBA GM for sure!! Sure I wish Adams was still @ PITT but 12th selection w/a 5.5 million 3yr guarantee based on potential.

Comment by DC33 06.28.13 @ 9:56 am

I said a year ago that Steve Adams would one day star in the NBA, not just play. Obviously somebody in Oklahoma agrees.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.28.13 @ 10:40 am

spiritofsection22, just in case you’re reading this …. I owe you an apology

I accused you in a posting above of a 2 month Steve Adams campaign, when in fact, I believe the one I was referring to should have been ‘pttisit’

sorry

Comment by wbb 06.28.13 @ 1:23 pm

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