There is much talk encompassing the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s first round draft pick of Steven Adams. Many question the thought process of getting a very green center that might not be able to contribute for a couple years — or if he will be able to contribute at a high level ever.
The pessimism might derive from the fact that many have not heard of Adams until the draft. His name may be unrecognizable to most fans, which is scary. What does the Thunder organization see in Adams that persuaded them to choose him with their first pick of the draft?
Let’s cut to the chase. There really were not many options left once the 12th pick rolled around for the Thunder. If you think about it, choosing Adams was one of the few moves that really made sense.
The Thunder need somebody that can be an intimidating presence in the five spot, and Adams has the tools to develop into something special. He has great height at seven-feet tall, great size at 250-plus pounds, enough athleticism to develop a decent offensive repertoire and speed to get up and down the court.
But why does this pick still seem shaky at best to Thunder fans? Well, it may have to do with experience of the past. Does anybody remember Cole Aldrich? He was a former Thunder draftee that had all of the same attributes and high hopes as Adams. In the end, his time in Oklahoma City was abrupt and far from successful.
Thunder general manager, Sam Presti, has proven in his career that he can roll the dice on draft picks and come out on top. Just look at Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka or Reggie Jackson. But we have to be realistic. Nobody is going to bat a thousand in every draft year in and year out.
Sure, Adams may not be the pick for the Thunder that will show results right off the bat. It will take time and development. One of the hardest things to ask from fans is patience, and patience is exactly what is needed for Adams. I’m not saying he’s going to be a consistent future All Star, but does anybody really know what the future holds for this guy?
The Thunder will be contenders for years to come with the likes of Kevin Durant, Westrbook and Ibaka. Even though the Thunder didn’t trade up in the draft for a higher-rated draftee, they still made the right choice in building a strong core for the future. Now we play the waiting game to see how this year’s draft will pan out in the future.
You better be good, Steven Adams.