**Schmidt Talking Podcast host Kyle Allan contributed to this article.**
St. Bonaventure Bonnies point guard Jaylen Adams brought major attention to the program throughout his college basketball career. He joined a senior class that won the most total games in school history and led his team to two postseason tournaments. His senior year, he led the Bonnies to a huge NCAA Tournament victory.
With all these accomplishments on his resume, Adams caught the eyes of multiple NBA franchises. Adams has worked out for nine teams and almost all are in need of point guard depth. It’s still uncertain if he’ll be drafted, but the opportunity is certainly there. Below we rank the franchises that are best suited for his career in the NBA.
9.) Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are on pace for NBA purgatory. They attempted to speed up their rebuild by building a roster around D’Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and unpredictable depth scoring. It’s much improved when healthy from a few seasons ago, but it’s not good enough to become anything close to a contender.
In looking at the current roster, they’re extremely deep at point guard. With Jeremy Lin, Spencer Dinwiddie, Isaiah Whitehead and Russell, there wouldn’t be enough minutes available for Jaylen Adams. Dinwiddie, Russell and Lin’s contracts all expire at the end of the year, but it’s hard to believe the Nets let Dinwiddie and Russell walk. As of now, there isn’t much appeal for Adams in Brooklyn.
8.) Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves roster currently lacks depth, but Tom Thibodeau doesn’t give quality minutes to depth players. Starters Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson, and Karl-Anthony Towns all finished the 2017-2018 NBA season in the top 36 in minutes per game. Only two depth players barely played more than 20 minutes per game.
Even though Thibodeau limits his rotation, there’s plenty of reason for him to like Jaylen Adams. Thibodeau loves effort on defense, and Adams averaged 1.5 steals or more per game these last two seasons. He can also defend multiple positions. Adams clearly fits the mold, but his chances of playing are slim. Expect Minnesota to improve their bench via free agency this summer.
7.) Los Angeles Lakers
If the Los Angeles Lakers were to draft Jaylen Adams Thursday night it would come with the 47th overall pick. The Lakers current roster features potential future All-Star Lonzo Ball, but Tyler Ennis is the only other point guard on the roster. It’s clear the Lakers current depth can distribute the basketball, but they struggle to stretch the floor and create their own shot. Jaylen Adams would give the Lakers a three-point shooting point guard. Adams hit ten three-point shots in a game earlier this season and shot over 40 percent from three in back-to-back seasons. If the Lakers don’t select Ball’s backup at the end of the first round, Adams is the perfect depth guard to fill out the roster. Pick 47 is a reach, but teams normally draft need over best available in the second round.
In back to back games Jaylen Adams managed to make 18 three pointers and score 40 points. Here is the other 10 made threes against St. Louis. pic.twitter.com/sUqE7QSV3s
— The NBA Draft Wire (@NBADraftWire) February 14, 2018
6.) Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers are a team with a set guard rotation for next season, but their guard’s skillsets are similar to Jaylen Adams. Victor Oladipo, Cory Joseph, and Darren Collison are two guards that thrive playing both on and off the ball. After watching Adams play alongside Matt Mobley the last two seasons, Adams showed he can also thrive playing both roles.
If Adams landed in Indiana, he’d be the perfect fourth guard under coach Nate McMillan. His roster is full of guys who play with a chip on their shoulder, and Adams played with one while at St. Bonaventure. Playing with something to prove will motivate a prospect to a successful NBA career. Playing on a team with one will land him a roster spot for after his rookie contract.
5.) Washington Wizards
Outside of John Wall and Bradley Beal, most would say that the Washington Wizards were weak at the guard position. Ramon Sessions, Ty Lawson, Jodie Meeks, and Tom Frazier backed up their two stars last season and none of them averaged more than seven points and four assists per game. Entering next season, Meeks is the only one under contract. The Wizards will have their eyes on guard help this summer, and Adams would provide a more modern offensive skill set than any of their reserves last season.
Out of Wall and Beal’s backups last season, Sessions was the only one to shoot 40 percent or higher from behind the arc. Adams, as mentioned above, shot above 40 percent from three in back-to-back seasons at St. Bonaventure. With the ability to play both guard positions, Adams would allow Wall and Beal to play their lead roles in the offense. He may not be their true backup his rookie season, but the Wizards need bodies who lift some of the pressure off their stars shoulders. The Wizards can’t go another season without a quality guard depth. Adams can provide that help.
4.) Detroit Pistons
In a previous podcast, Alec Walt explained why the Detroit Pistons were a horrible landing spot for Jaylen Adams. During that show, the Pistons had just fired their general manager and did not have a head coach. After officially signing Dwane Casey, the Pistons suddenly have some appeal.
During Casey’s time in Toronto he always had a quality backup point guard. Over the last three seasons, backup floor generals Cory Joseph, Delon Wright, and Fred VanVleet averaged between 20-25 minutes per game. Looking at Detroit, they are significantly weaker at point guard. Reggie Jackson owns the top spot, but Ish Smith and Dwight Buycks are his backups. With Smith and Buycks on expiring contracts, the Pistons need to start looking at the future at the position. Adams would give Casey a guard who can play alongside Jackson and run an offense that heavily involves low-post stars Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. I highly recommend someone show Casey the clip below. Lob City would officially move to the Motor City.
I mean my goodness, how can this not get everyone hyped up?
— Schmidt Talking (@Schmidt_Talking) March 8, 2018
3.) San Antonio Spurs
If you’re a potential second-round pick or undrafted free agent, the San Antonio Spurs are a team you want to workout for. On the current roster, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Patty Mills, and Brandon Paul were either selected in the second round or went undrafted. There were five additional players from last seasons roster who would qualify for this list, but their contracts have expired or they declined their player option.
The Spurs are a team that’s been consistently successful for the last two decades because of system and situational basketball. Gregg Popovich is known for his extreme attention to detail and is always prepared to play next man up or sit someone not following directions. It’s never a surprise seeing Popovich sub an entire lineup or go deep into his bench out of frustration.
There may not be minutes for Adams early in a potential career with the Spurs, but anyone that fits Popovich’s system has a great chance for a long NBA career. Learning his system early would bode well for Adams future. His assistants are all over the league.
2.) Atlanta Hawks
If the Atlanta Hawks want to land Jaylen Adams it would be as an undrafted free agent. He’s had two workouts with Atlanta in the past two seasons. One was last year when he declared for the draft without an agent and the other was a few weeks ago. What’s interesting about the Hawks is they’re interested in both Aaron Holiday and Adams.
These two were able to showcase their talent versus one another in the NCAA Tournament this past March. Holiday outscored Adams 20 to eight, but scouts will look deeper into Holiday’s 10 turnovers to Adams’ 0. While Adams was cold, he was able to create in multiple opportunities for his teammates to seal the victory. If you’re a Hawks executive, you want your reserve point guard to be smart and efficient in their condensed playing time. Even though Adams didn’t play condensed minutes, he played efficient when it mattered most.
Looking at the Hawks roster, Isaiah Taylor is currently the only reserve point guard. In the starting lineup, there’s no guarantee Dennis Schroder makes it through the summer after showing frustration with the direction of the franchise. There’s a lot of uncertainty at point guard in Atlanta, but there’s plenty of opportunity for any prospect to earn playing time. Adams should serious consider Atlanta if not drafted.
The Charlotte Hornets and Jaylen Adams look like the perfect match. With the 55th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Hornets’ draft position lands exactly where Adams name will most likely be called. They currently have Kemba Walker as the starting point guard, but Julyan Stone is the only backup on the roster for next season. Stone averaged less than one point per game and appeared in 23, so the Hornets aren’t relying him as their official backup. With 12 guys already under contract, there’s a chance Stone might not even make the roster.
Walker would be the perfect guy for Adams to learn from his rookie season. Throughout Walker’s basketball career, he’s been his teams number one scoring option, consistently played against a double team and excelled at setting up his teammates. That sounds very similar to Adams early in his career.
With the likelihood they draft a wing at pick 11, they can’t pass on a point guard at 55. The Hornets are in position to draft, provide minutes and allow Adams to learn under an NBA All-Star. No other team can offer that.