SB Nation will be covering most of the heavy hitters when it comes to top prospects for this year's NBA Draft. Former Pitt center Steven Adams is of course one of those guys and here's our writeup on him below answering the questions from our NBA bloggers.
How is Adams perceived on campus / How will he be remembered?
Adams appeared to be widely liked on campus. As a player, he'll be remembered as a potential star who never quite reached his potential at Pitt. I'm not sure Adams will become as beloved as a guy like DeJuan Blair who is from the area and who stuck around for two seasons. And most importantly, Adams never became the player Blair did while he was here. Even if he becomes a better player than Blair in the pros, he probably will never be remembered as fondly as him since he never showed a lot while at Pitt.
What anecdote or story best typifies his time at your school?
I'm not sure there is one in particular, but Adams just loved to have fun on the court. If there's one thing that sticks out in that respect, it's just that he seemed to enjoy every minute he was playing. Coming from New Zealand, he was learning quite a bit on the court, too. He's just a fan favorite because of his attitude and I think that will carry over to wherever he ends up.
What parts of the draft evaluation coverage about the prospect do you think are wrong or missing?
I think that his limited offensive skills lead people to believe that he can't contribute in the NBA in his first season. I have questions about how much he can do in that initial year, too, but just because Adams doesn't have a wealth of post up moves doesn't mean he can't find a way to score. Because of his height and athleticism, Adams can clean up some missed shots around the basket. And he should be one of the best 7-footers at getting out into fast breaks and running the court for some easy points. Adams has a long way to go offensively, but he should get a chance to score some buckets if he can get onto the court.
What will fans of the NBA love and/or hate about Adams?
Adams is a very solid defender and rebounds well. And as I mentioned, he should fit in well with a team that likes to get out and run. I see him as a high energy guy once he gets acclimated and if nothing else, he should be able to contribute in those areas fairly soon. The downside is that his offense in a halfcourt set is a ways away. As I mentioned, he'll get some points off of putbacks, but don't expect him to create too many of his own shots just yet. And even while he'll score some on putbacks, he'll also miss his fair share of point blank shots. Adams often was able to pad his rebounding stats a little by missing layups inside and grabbing the misses ... and that will certainly drive fans a little crazy.
Patience is going to be key with Adams. He's not been playing basketball all that long compared to most of the other projected draft picks and has a lot to learn. I expect he'll be a contributor in the NBA, but it may take a couple of years. And even if he contributes right away, there will be plenty of moments of frustration with him.