Leading up to the NBA Draft we will be analyzing scouting reports for various players who have entered their name in this year’s NBA Draft. The focus of these articles will be on prospects who we find most intriguing and feel readers need to become more familiar with. Please let us know if you want any players specifically @edupridepress. All stats and videos are via KenPom, ESPN, DraftExpress, and YouTube.
Weight: 243 lbs
Background: In my last player breakdown I talked about a freshman that is underrated and had a better freshman season than people give me credit for…flip the script and you get Bam Adebayo. This isn’t some anti-kentucky thing at all but I think him going to Kentucky overrates him compared to others in this draft class. Bam is a big body that has been known for his rebounding and emphatic dunks. He is still very raw and young but his NBA ready body gives him plenty of upside. John Calipari has a history of putting big men in the NBA and excelling almost immediately. The draft evaluation process is crucial for Adebayo because he will need to show teams some offensive repertoire that he didn’t show at Kentucky. Bam is a late first round pick but he can certainly help or hurt his stock with team workouts in the coming weeks.
Right now Bam has more weaknesses than strengths but he was not asked to be a main scorer this season and he is still really young so he has plenty of time to prove himself and grow his game.
Strengths: The one skill that Adebayo will bring to the NBA will be the ability to be a high level rebounder. Combine Adebayo’s NBA ready body with the ability to get misses on both ends of floor and that will add value to a likely playoff team at the back end of the first round. NBA teams will not have to stick him in the weight room before he can fight down low which is rare for one and done freshmen. Adebayo excelled in the NCAA tournament where he averaged over 10 rebounds a game. Some of his tournament highlights are below.
Not mentioning dunking as a strength. NBA teams are looking for wins not dunk contest participants.
NBA teams look for a prospect to show some offensive skill before they declare for the draft but Adebayo did very little other than catch lobs and have put back dunks during his time at Kentucky. That will need to change as Adebayo will have to become a threat to remain on the court. Adebayo did struggle in most games against top level competition and his top games against non tournament teams puffed up some of his stats. Adebayo’s rim protection also needs major development. He protected the rim in some games but was not a major threat against the top competition.
Comparison: Dwight Howard
This has been the comparison for Bam since he came out of high school and it has only proved to be more true by the game. The only issue with this comparison is that I do not believe Adebayo is a top level rim protector at this time. Howard came into the league with very few post moves but was a phenomenal rebounder. Right now Adebayo has a ready made body and is a great rebounder which is how Howard entered the league. Adebayo’s ceiling is Dwight Howard in his prime as a great defender who can score with a few post moves and brute strength.
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