Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Steven Adams 2013 NBA Draft stuff has kind of died down after the center got off to a slow start in conference play. After projecting him for 2013 for a while, NBADraft.net now puts him in the 2014 class.
While I don't think Adams will be leaving after this season, here's something to consider: the 2013 class appears to be a weak one, according to ZagsBlog. Conversely, the 2014 class is projected to be very strong per one NBA GM:
“It’s a historically weak draft that, as a result, you’re going to see a lot more guys putting their name in knowing they’ll go higher in this draft, even though they may not be ready, just because next year’s class has such incredible depth that they could actually play better and improve and drop their draft status next year,” said the GM who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to comment publicly on prospects.
The GM said that the 2014 draft class is so strong that he rattled off more than half a dozen players he would take No. 1 if they went this year: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Andrew and Aaron Harrison and Noah Vonleh.
Players don't base their entire decision to come out based on the projections of other players in their own class, but I'm sure it plays a part. If Adams doesn't take a huge step forward, one could wonder if he'd be better of coming out this season or waiting until 2015 if next year's class is as stacked as the GM claims.
Who knows how that will figure into his plans, but one thing is sure: Adams' play lately has proven he's gotten better. Even when struggling, Adams would still have been drafted. But now that he's showing a bit more on the court, a 2013 jump to the pros looks more reasonable. I still expect him to return to Pitt next season, but will believe it when the official entry date has passed.