Steven Adams: Summer League Stat Comparison
Steven Adams seems to be one of the more polarizing players in this draft. He has great physical tools, and some offensive signs of life among a slowly emerging game of a guy who hasn't been playing at a high level very long. I personally saw Adams improve vastly since my first glimpse of him at Pitt to his last collegiate game and think that is a good sign for his development, not to mention he's scoring at a higher clip in SL than he did in college. Still, Cythia and Siggy got into it a bit yesterday and it seemed the majority of the posters on this site sided with the arguement that he's just another stiff OKC has drafted in hopes of hitting the jackpot. I think he's different.
Since it is so early in his career, there isn't a lot of statistical data to backup my opinion, but there is a little and although Summer League will always just be Summer League, I notice some differences that I'd like to share with the forum. Adams is out performing the past slew of robots and Jon Koncaks that have graced OKC's summer league team over the past half decade. Here is what I found.
2013 - Steven Adams - 8.7 ppg 5.7 rpg 1.3 bpg 64% FG 61% FT 4 PF pg
2009 - B.J. Mullens - 5.8 ppg 2.6 rpg 1.2 bpg 39% FG 30% FT 1 PF pg
2009 - Mouhamed Sene ( couldn't find 06 stats, but this is 3rd year ) - .8 ppg 1.7 rpg 2 bpg 14% FG 50% FG 0 PF
2012 - Cole Aldrich ( 2nd year, rookie SL was cancelled ) - 5 ppg 6.5 rpg 1 bpg 40% FG 61% FT 3.8 PF pg
2004 - Robert Swift - 4.3 ppg 3.5 rpg .5 bpg 41% FG 67 %FT
2005 - Johan Petro - 2.3 ppg 1.3 rpg .7 bpg 45% FG 100% FT
Now, Summer League is Summer league, and there isn't a lot of data to compare this early into Adam's career, but it seems to me he's already seperated himself from the pack of former OKC projects. Adams has a long way to go, but you can't ignore his produciton in comparison because the Sonics/Thunder drafted some busts. No one talks about projects that have done well like Serge Ibaka, just as no one mentions Elton Brand, Loul Deng, or Kyrie Irving when the beat to death "Duke guys can't play in the NBA" arguement.
I realize this isn't a case closed post, but I think it's not too early to evaluate his early production compared to a lot of rookie project bigs of the past. Some more food for thought, Andre Drummond averaged 7.4 ppg 5.4 rpg 2 bpg on 50% shooting last summer.
I don't think he's bad, I was just wanting OKC to try something different for a change in a big man. He may very well outshine the other centers, and he may also very well fall into the same category as them.
There's never anything wrong with taking a chance when you're already a contender anyways. I just personally felt someone like Olynyk or even a wing like Bazz would have been more help this year and right now off the bench, as opposed to waiting several years for Adams to maybe or maybe not be any good.
I'm a hardcore Thunder fan and I truely hope Adams does turn out amazing, I'd be crazy to not hope so, it's just after so many big men that were bad I'm a bit gun shy because of it.
As for Ibaka yes he was a gem, and I did almost mention him in that other post but I strictly left it to centers instead. But coming in Ibaka was very unknown and he had no offensive game at all. He was known as a dunker & blocker and that was it. He's surprised everyone with his rapid offensive development, I just hope Adams can too. But the odds aren't necessarily in Adams favor.
I think the Thunder did a great job. They need a center who won't take shots away from Durant or Westbrook. They needed a big guy would can catch a pass near the rim and make basic finishes, dunks, lay ups, short hook shots, because they are not getting that from Perk. Adams is athletic enough and has solid enough hands to make those simple plays.
He also brings energy and will give 100% on the defensive end, which is what the Thunder need. He has the ability to alter shots and block some shots. His body is also physically ready to go up against the centers in the league.
They also addressed a scoring big man with Grant Jerret. He may take a little time to develop along with Adams, but his skill set fits perfect with the Thunder's system. Grant can stick the three ball and should open up the driving lanes for Westbrook, Durant and their other perimeter players.
I hear you, I wasn't trying to put you on blast, I just read that thread and wanted to share my findings. I was incorrect about Andre Drummond's rookie impact and it made me look at Adams closely starting pretty early in the college season due to a lot of similar physical tools and less attitude concerns. I really do think he can be a guy similar to Nic Vucevic. 3 games is 3 games but I think the fact he's scoring more and shooting higher percentages from the feild and from the stripe against better players are good omens of his development even in the short period of time between the NCAA tournament and now.
Adams is nowhere near as skilled as Nik Vucevic, and he is nowhere near the physical marvel that Andre Drummond is.
There is really no consistent way to view the summer league because teams use the time differently. Heck, teams use it differently from year to year based off who they drafted and what they want to see from certain guys.
It is nice when the fringe guys play well. Whether it is Dwight Buycks, Ian Clark, Scotty Hopson, or whoever else, I hope guys who are putting together track records for playing well eventually get a shot. For a guy who might not otherwise get a shot, playing well matters. It is the difference between being in an NBA training camp or a small town in Italy in October. Heck, I even understand that even if Buycks or Clark play themselves into a training camp spot or opening night roster, it is still a long way from getting PT in real games. On the other hand, if a guy is guaranteed to be on the roster or go to camp, it is just an introduction.
Oh your right, Adams still has a ways to go before he is where Vucevic is, but it seems like he could follow that path since his face up game is emerging and he can use both hands. Although he isn't quite the beast Drummond is ( no way I expect him to get 8 and 8 next year ) Andre's rookie transition ( if you remember, i was not on the bamdwagon ) did make me more open to a player making more of an impact due to size and athletic ability alone.
Adams won't be on an all-rookie team, but with Thabeet as OKC's backup center, I think some of his minutes may be vulnerable to an improving ( Adams seems a quick study to some degree) physical specimen such as Adams. As a rookie, I'd bet on 3 pts 3 rbs in 10 mpg 50 games or so, but my point being I don't think he's a stiff and that in a few years, I think he'll be a nice young center.
Adams is going to just get better and better...wouldn't surprise me at all if he ends up being the best player from this draft.
Big men take longer to develop... just a fact. Even Hall of Famers like Duncan, Olajuwan, and Ewing weren't that great their freshman years in college. Adams is especially raw since he started playing basketball much later in life. I completely agree with KDThunder35... he just needs to do the basics on offense well (and I think he will develop a nice mid range shot) along with playing hard on defense with good rebounding and he will end up being a great draft pick. The Thunder can't just give up on drafting centers just because of their failures in the past... all they can do is learn from their mistakes and keep trying because that position is too important to have weak/mediocre talent starting.