Draft Profiles: Jordan Adams, 6’5, SG, UCLA, 210 lbs., Sophomore

Draft Profiles: Jordan Adams, 6’5, SG, UCLA, 210 lbs., Sophomore

Athletic Ability

Athletically, Adams is probably a tad slower than most shooting guards.  However, he showed much better sneaky athleticism once losing weight, but he doesn’t possess great foot speed or great vertical leap.


While maybe an inch short of the Jordan standard, Adams probably is slightly above average for most shooting guards in today’s NBA, especially with so many teams playing small ball.  Adams has a good frame, weighing in  at 210 lbs.  Plus he lost all the bad weight during the season and looked much quicker because of it.  He possesses a nice wing-span, so the measurable are there, and Thibs seems to prefer size at the wing spots.

Basketball IQ

As a freshman, Adams was more consistent than teammate and eventual first round draft pick Shabazz Mohammed.   He plays well while not dominating athletically with quickness or bullying opponents with strength but with a good understanding of the game.  He scores 17 points a game by knowing how to play off the ball and can create shots even without a great first step.

While not a great defender, he averaged over 2 steals a game by understanding how to play passing lanes and showing good defensive basketball IQ.


Adams is one of the most skilled players in this draft.  He plays like his teammate (Kyle Anderson) in slo-mo ball, but with a bit more athletic ability.  One of the questions with Adams is whether or not he can build more athletic ability through better conditioning.   He’s slimmed down this year to increase his speed, but does he have even more room to gain?

Offensively, Adams is best known for his off-the-ball movement and finding creases from long-range, mid-range, or back door cuts.  He’s a very good shooter who can also create a little off the bounce and get to mid-range or into the paint.  While Adams has the build to shield off opposing defenders, he still struggles in finishing at the rim.

The biggest thing I like about Jordan Adams is his ability to draw fouls or bait opposing players.  I think this translates well to the next level.  Many people say Adams reminds them a little of James Harden, but I don’t see that skill level offensively.  However, I see the ability to compete a little more defensively.


Will Adams skills be good enough to overcome athletic question marks?   He has below average foot speed and isn’t a leaper.  As a slasher, he finishes at only a moderate level, and as a shooter, he knocked down just 36% of his college threes.   Will his offensive creation game translate to the next level?   Does he have more bad weight to lose to increase his athleticism?

Overall, Adams possesses many quality skills for an offensive player at the next level.  However, competing against higher caliber athletes he may struggle to use them as much if he can’t improve on some of his skills or body.

That said, with an improved body, Adams would be a lottery talent even in this stacked draft class.  Adding quickness will be key to limiting defensive blow bys and improving his first step.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

Adams fits great offensively for the Chicago.   Since he can do a bit of everything, shoot, create off the dribble, get into the pain, pull up from mid range, play off the ball, etc, he would give Chicago the versatility on offense they’ve lacked at shooting guard.

However, in college, he was blown by on defense frequently which suggests Thibodeau may struggle to find minutes in his rotation for Adams.  That said, it may also be the case that Thibodeau can improve his defense considerably.

To me, Adams is an intriguing player to think about trading down for and getting in the early 20’s.  Adams has been put up big numbers since his mid-Freshman year, possesses many great offensive tributes, and possesses a high IQ game.  I think my main concern is will his lack of defense keep him out from playing for Thibs?

At the same time, we desperately need offense and it is likely that players such as Stauskas, Kyle Anderson, and Rodney Hood will be gone when drafting at pick 16.  Unless one of those slides, I am very intrigued in drafting Adams if a trade down is possible.

I feel Adams possesses much better overall offensive game then say James Young, and has the potential to be a great core player off the bench.   I would rather have Adams than many players at our pick such as K.J. McDaniels or a T.J. Warren.  I just don’t know if I see Thibs playing this guy much.

My impressions

Overall, I think Adams has a chance to be a good scorer at the next level with his high basketball IQ.  However, Adams is a boom or bust pick.  Will he be active enough and can he keep his weight down to play at the next level?  Is he athletic enough to keep up with opposing shooting guards?

I tend to think he has a chance to be solid at the next level, but feel the Bulls will go elsewhere due to lack of conditioning generally and I don’t know if I see Thibs playing pudgy players this early in their career despite the weight loss.   I am a fan, but I don’t know if it is a fit if that makes sense.  I think he will be a steal.


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  • I think you should add another section to these where you give your range of where you think the players would get drafted. Ala 15-25 or mid first rounder etc. It gives us a better idea of their skill range in comparison to other players we are considering. Such as if there is a guy who is a mid second rounder vs a guy ranging around the top 25 so we know the likely we may go after them.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Not bagging on your comment, but he said he would be picked in the early 20's if we wanted to trade down. He also stated who might rate ahead of him in Hood, Stauskas, and Kyle Anderson.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    If I can remember, I will try to do this! Thank you for suggestion and all are welcome!

  • Yea I know but I meant for all prospects, just an area that says draft range or something. Like he has the skill, size, fit for bulls, etc. I think its small but it was only a suggestion. And also because I personally dont even see Adams as a top 20 calibur player.

  • Spot on review Kevin. I followed Jordan Adams because of his prolific scoring as a sophomore/only 19, and also because he and Kyle Anderson(and Zach LaVine) as well as UCLA as a team was just fun to watch. Nod also to Bryce Alford who stepped up as well despite being brought in as the "coach's(Steve Alford's) son."

    You know gushing over prospect after prospect makes me feel like a bit of a noob(yes I said noob my son uses it to bag on me with anything techno or current so what the hell thought I'd pass it on), but this 1-15 of the 2014 draft, despite being quite possibly starless of a Wade, Rose etc. caliber, but nonetheless IMO is deep in talent as advertised by not just the media but scouts as well.

    With that disclaimer, I like Adams. Other then Rodney Hood being available which is a possibility, or perhaps Nik Stauskas which is unlikely, my pick for best SG available is Jordan Adams. Why? Famed cliche 101 but applies with Jordan "he understands the game." In terms of moving off the ball for shots and cuts to the basket with the strong body to do it. He's also excellent in transition despite his slightly less then exceptional speed. Admittedly his athleticism is sub par particularly in regards to being vertically challenged as in he can't jump to save his life. Still, his very long arms help negate that somewhat.

    Defensively should be an English major the way he keenly reads team's intentions with steals and rotations. A 6'10 wing span really enables his ball hawk and disruption abilities along with above it all scoring off of screens, back cuts, curls etc. Old school, his mid range game in spot ups and post ups is exceptional being compared to Rip Hamilton though that may be a stretch. Though when you take into account most of his scoring is not at the rim yet his two point field goal percentage is a very smooth 55%. And he excelled at 19 in the Pac-12 that, reinvigorated with talent, went six deep in NCAA tourney teams. So possibly some upside.

    Adams from long range is inconsistent yes where he moves his head back, inconsistent release at times etc. However, again the critical validation, not a guarantee, but almost always accompanies successful long term three point shooters is a good free throw percentage, and 84 and 83% is damn good. Plus 35% on 4.1 attempts per game is hardly terrible to begin with. As a committed, high effort, all out competitor with excellent foundation shooting wise my guess is that Adams will find his stroke from long range, as he has 18 feet and in, with the help of NBA coaches, and shoot high 30's or better sooner rather then later in his NBA career.

    It can never be overstated how important prolific scoring early on as a freshman/sophomore as well as young in age translates to the same production as a pro. 17ppg on 55% from two point range is damn good and something you don't see everyday in a major conference. And he's a very competitive, good teammate/ locker room kid by all accounts. I certainly liked what I saw of Jordan Adams as a person in court side demeanor, interviews etc. So the gushing continues, pass the Kleenex. I haven't cried this much since they cancelled Breaking Bad(ha, ha).

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I like him offensively in this draft. Think there will be other players better, but think Adams will sneak up in this draft too!

  • Side note: Could this draft be overrated? Of course. The very nature of draft coverage is in part the hype/profit factor involved compared to the some times buzz kill reality. That said, not just talent wise, but scouting notes on personal dynamics, for what they're worth, this top 15 IMO rates with some very impressive players. If you care about such things go check out both the player pre-draft interviews and scouting report video packages put together by Mike Schmitz on DraftExpress. Guys like Adreian Payne and Nik Stauskas come off as very impressive personally IMO along with Shabazz Napier who looks like the light bulb has turned on in a big way either that or he's one hell of an actor.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I like a lot of players. Don't know if I am high on Napier in general. Think he can be alright (maybe Mike Bibby at his best). However, I wonder how his fuse will transfer!

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    Wouldn't Mike Bibby at 16 or 19 be a pretty good pick? Bibby at his peak was a valued NBA player.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't think he will be as good as Bibby (just saying best case).

  • This isn't the NFL, I don't think that trading down to "target" a player has much value. The talent level is already thin enough, you need to be moving up, not down, if talent is the concern, otherwise it's just saving money.

    not too excited about a guy who has trouble staying in shape as a basketball player period, but especially as a kid in his late teens or early 20's. It only gets harder as you get older, and to me it is a character flaw in someone who is supposed to be a professional athlete.

    I'd rather trade both picks to move up than trade down to get another Tony Snell and an extra second round pick. This is probably a 10-15 player draft max, naturally we pick 16th.

  • I agree players who are out of shape generally you want to steer clear of. In Adams case though if you look at his body type he's a round shouldered, big boned looking guy to begin with. That said, he's still responsible for changing his body structure the best he can if he's serious about being a professional, and that means toning up while getting his weight down. He did lose notable weight as the year went on by playing, and his face in that picture looks almost lean really. He'll need weights and nutrition to get his body fat down to an NBA level along with increasing muscle tone. Which is what successful NBA guys do.

    We'll see. This guy is not only a high character competitor, but a producer both in scoring and in general as in steals and rebounds his numbers are terrific. This guy isn't lazy. If ever there was somebody who I have faith in to mature in the pro ranks with a toned body this guy is it. If you're going to sift out real talent at say 19 then you don't have "sure things" generally. I don't blame someone though if they want to pass on Adams because normally weight/out of shape is one of my biggest red flags. I will say while his lacking tone and slightly overweight was mentioned, it seemed like the evaluators on ESPN's NBA Draft combine panel regarded him as a scorer on the next level and projected NBA success.

    As for trading down I mean I think that was just an aside comment. I don't think trade downs occur much other then one guy/team secures your player ahead of your pick while his player still available you take and then you swap and give a future second rounder or two for the favor. I'm not one for worrying about being judged. If I feel Adams is the best player at 19, and he's slotted at 23-25 on mocks, I don't let that change my mind. If someone says I'm reaching, I really don't care. If you get fired it won't be because you reached on a No. 19 pick. I would take Hood who may be there over Adams though he's more of a wing/SF. Possibly Stasukas as well though it looks like he'll be gone. The way Payne's stock seems to be rising you might have to take him at 16 if you want him and see whose left at 19.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    obvious typo Stauskas as in Nik Stauskas, Michigan.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Agree that Payne's stock is rising and would take him at 16 and the the best available wing at 19. However, if Hood or Stauskas were available at 16 I would reconsider. Expect them both to be off the board by then but I probably couldn't pass on them at 16.

    My draft day prediction, however, is that Gar will do one of the following: 1) trade one or both picks in a deal to get rid of Boozer (instead of amnesty) or 2) trade both picks for picks next year to clear cap space for FA acquisition. Option 1 would be an outrage and show contempt for fan base and option 2 would be acceptable only if led to someone like Melo. Personally, I think Melo is a long shot.

    Random observation. The wings in this year's draft are far superior to those available last year in the 15-25 range. Having said that, I still believe drafting Snell was a crime against humanity for which Gar should face justice before an international tribunal. Assuming the UN General Assembly would not vote for this (after all, they didn't do this for Bush/Cheney) I would have his scouting license revoked.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Since you had to go all Sam Smith on us with the political crap, allow me to point out that you can get the Nobel Peace prize for crimes against humanity as Obama did before he went on a soon to be 8 year killing spree where he has secretly/silently killed more people than all the serial killers in U.S. history combined. Now if one of those drone strikes had targeted Boozer, I'd say the prize would have been well deserved.

    Just another reason that politics, religion, race discusions have no place at the holiday table or on your favorite sports blog.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Sorry you didn't appreciate the reference to Bush/Cheney. Just trying to emphasize my complete displeasure of the Snell pick through humor via a political comparison. Having said that, who elected you to determine what can be expressed on a sports blog? If you don't care for it you can disagree (as you did) but I will be damned if I will be told by anyone what and what not to write. If Chicago Now wants to ban me let them. I will accept their judgment.

    By the way you were the one who went on about Obama through an entire paragraph. I just made a parenthetical wisecrack. For what it is worth, I think your assumption was that I would not agree with your statement regarding Obama. Your assumption would be incorrect. I have no problem with your statement.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I actually appreciated your sense of humor and hyperbole calling the Snell pick a crime against Humanity, although I think that applies more forcefully to the Teague pick. It was funny enough to stand on its own and gained nothing by getting into the political arena.

    For what it is worth, I actually support Obama's use of drone strikes targeting terrorists. To put it in a sports context, the best defense is a good offense, which to bring everything full circle, I am pretty sure was the Bush/Cheney philosophy.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    "The best defense is a good offense...was the Bush/Cheney philosophy." You're right----stick to basketball.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    I think we will make a lot of moves as we should. I just hope we keep a pick this year. Cheap quality labor is a premium!

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Seems like you have a good handle on this guy.

    All my opinions come from what I read about guys, I don't watch college ball, so a lot of what I value is in the character effort department as well as the physical gifts department, plus pure shooting ability. At this point I would go Hood over Adams even though as you say Hood is likely a SF thus creating a Jimmy Butler problem.

    I really like Payne as a Bull, even though with Taj and Mirotic he isn't a need, but would allow us to consider trading Taj for wing scoring in a year or so. Payne measured out as a taller longer version of Taj(over 9' standing reach), but he shot 42% from 3 point range, could be a great value as a Taj replacement.

    I've seen PJ Hairston mocked to the Bulls and would probably go with him over Adams, although I guess that he has some character issues also. Who is the better shooter, scorer.

    The Bulls desperately need to add guys who can shoot, so who are the best shooters among this group of guys likely to be available in the 16-19 range. Obviously, guys like Mcdermot and Stauskis won't be on the board, neither will Zack Lavine although he doesn't exactly qualify as an elite shooter.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I like Hood a lot. Jimmy can play 2 guard or small forward. Hood can handle the ball a little too. Right now from three, Hairston might be better shooter, but Adams can create better, is a solid shooter, a smarter player, and has a better head on his shoulders.

  • In reply to kevinstates:

    I am generally a best player available irregardless of position type of guy so if Hood is superior to those other guys I make that pick and figure it out later. But if they are a tossup then you have to go with the guys that are legitimate SG's.

    It seems very apparent to me after this season and especially the playoffs that Jimmy is a much better defender at small forward where his physicality comes into play. He clearly suffers chasing smaller guys around screens all day, at both ends of the court. So while you can play him at shooting guard you are hurting the team overall by doing so, especially since he can't shoot.

    So if you are going to start Butler then you need to compliment him with an elite scorer who can defend the SG position. Now, if you can get a small forward like Melo then you might be able to live with Butler at SG.

    If both Payne and Hood are there at 16 which one do you take, does either guy make it to 19. Right now I'd be fairly stoked to get both those guys. They both have legit size for their positions and both appear to be good shooters, or at least better than most Bulls.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    As I see it, one problem that won't go away is that on a true championship contender Jimmy Butler is simply not a starting SF or starting SG. Period.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The Butler we saw in the playoffs a year ago was a starting SF IMO. Let's see this season if he is healed from his foot problems and is not overused - that can hurt any player.

    The Bulls have needed the SG forever - they need that guy in this draft of FA.

  • In reply to Edward:

    It's probably 50/50 depending on who everybody else is. With a healthy Rose and a player of Melo's caliber at either small forward or shooting guard you could certainly win with Butler as a starter, moreso at small forward which creates a bit of a problem with Melo himself.

    Butler still seems like the small forward version of Taj Gibson. Gibson was not a good offensive player until this season, and he is still borderline good/average. Jimmy at small forward can probably develop in a similar fashion to Taj.

    With Rose, Noah and another star you can certainly win with Taj and Jimmy as your other 2 starters. If Mirotic pans out offensively then you can again likely afford to start a guy like Butler at small forward.

    To me the most important thing that we need to do this offseason is to find an elite level scorer who is a 2 player at either wing position with a strong preference for a SG. Is that guy out there, I don't know.

    If we ended up with say Aflalo, Melo and Mirotic next year by trading Butler, Gibson and a bunch of #1 picks does that make us legit contenders.

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