Draft Projection: Mid-First Round Pick
Positives: Insider Only
Negatives: Insider Only
Summary: May 23 update: Adebayo tested off the charts in his measurements and athletic testing portion of the combine. Teams were also impressed with his interviews.
He seems to be putting himself back into the mix as a mid-first-round pick.
May 8 update: Adebayo has hired an agent and is now firmly in the draft. He should grade off the charts in the athletic-testing portion of the combine. It's the basketball skills that teams question.
Alas, he won't be playing in the 5-on-5 portion.
April 12 update: Adebayo is testing the waters, and it's unclear which way he should lean. Scouts weren't enamored with his play for much of the season. The NBA body and athleticism are clearly there, but the production, especially on the boards, didn't come until the last month of the season.
If he stays in the draft, he's projected to go in the mid-to-late first round. If he were to return to Kentucky, dominate as a rebounder and show off his perimeter game, he could become a top-10 pick in 2018.
April 5 update: Adebayo has declared for the 2017 NBA Draft. Adebayo has an NBA body and elite athleticism. During the second half of the season he began to show what a force he could be on the boards. His offensive game is still primarily predicated on powerful dunks in the paint, but there's potential for him to have a more well-rounded game down the road. Scouts initially had him pegged as a late lottery pick before the season began. He's now more in the Nos. 18-25 range if he decides to stay in the draft.
April 4 update: "Bam" played much better over the last month of the college season. When he plays with toughness as a rebounder and finisher at the rim, he looks the part of a lottery pick.
The Bucks could use that toughness in the paint to balance all the skilled perimeter players they employ.
March 27 update: Adebayo was awful against UCLA, scoring just two points and grabbing four boards without making a shot from the field. He started off poorly against North Carolina as well, before returning to form in the second half and finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds.
That inconsistency is what scares scouts and cooled the momentum he built the previous month. I still think he goes somewhere between Nos. 15 and 25 if he decides to declare for the draft. But if he stays another year and works on his perimeter game and consistency, he has the physical tools of a top-10 pick in what should be a significantly weaker draft in 2018.
March 23 update: debayo has been on a tear of late and the Wildcats will need him badly against UCLA's skilled front line. He had a very strong showing for Kentucky in the first matchup, scoring 18 points, grabbing 13 rebounds -- including seven offensive boards -- and blocking four shots.
Another big game could get the lottery discussion for Adebayo going again.
March 20 update: Hats off to Adebayo. His draft stock dropped midseason from the late lottery into the late first round as scouts questioned his lack of rebounding and his offensive versatility. Head coach John Calipari used it as motivation for Adebayo and he has been playing like a potential lottery pick since.
He had 15 points and 18 rebounds against Northern Kentucky and another 13 points and 10 boards against Wichita State. His swat of Landry Shamet's 3-point shot as time expired showed his versatility as a defender. He really has the mobility to defend both on the paint and on the perimeter. He has slowly seen his draft stock improve the last month and cracks the teens again for the first time in a month in our latest Top 100.
March 14 update: Adebayo looks the part of an NBA lottery pick. His strong, chiseled body is reminiscent of a young, smaller Dwight Howard. He's also an explosive athlete who is a powerful finisher at the rim. He seems to be peaking at the right time, putting up more consistent rebounding and scoring numbers the past few weeks.
However, his game is still a bit raw on both ends. He's an inconsistent rebounder (though he has been much better lately) and lacks the perimeter game that NBA teams hunt for in big men these days.
March 6 update: Bam's strength and explosive leaping ability make him an elite finisher at the rim. He gets 64 percent of his shots near the basket and is shooting a ridiculous 79.7 percent there, according to Hoop-Math.
His lack of overall shooting ability and his lackluster rebounding numbers (though he has had a string of big rebound games against Tennessee, Missouri and Florida) have him a little lower on our Big Board.
Feb. 1 update: "Bam" continues to be solid for Kentucky, but his draft stock has been slipping in recent weeks.
He's strong, bouncy and a fierce dunker. However, his inconsistency and so-so rebounding give scouts pause. One NBA exec compared him to Florida's Patric Young; he looks the part, but doesn't always play the part.
Dec. 22 update: "Bam" Adebayo has been solid for Kentucky, but not quite the dominant paint presence coach John Calipari had hoped.
The strong, athletic big man is averaging 12.5 PPG and 8.0 RPG, though he hasn't been as imposing in the middle as some scouts would like. He has the body and the springs, but the feel for the game still appears to be lacking.
Nov. 17 update: Bam Adebayo looks like a mini Dwight Howard when he's standing on the court, but he's still figuring out how to play like him.
Bam had just six points and five rebounds along with five turnovers against Michigan State. He clearly has an NBA body and athletic ability, but his feel for the game still looks like a major question mark early.
Nov 9 Update: Adebayo is more of a mixed bag. While Markkanen brings skill to the table, Adebayo brings raw athleticism and a ready-made NBA body. He's tremendous in the paint on both ends of the floor. The question surrounds his basketball skills. Can he figure out how to score beyond dunks and putbacks?
"I'm not a fan," one NBA GM said. "I love the physical tools, but I'm not sure I love the game. I wasn't a big Cliff Alexander fan for the same reason. I think Adebayo has more game, but I could see him struggling in similar ways.
"But not everyone on my staff agrees with me. I think you have to take a wait-and-see approach with him. If he dominates, I'll take it all back."
Aug 23 Update: Bam Adebayo already has the body of an NBA veteran. He's tough, physical and athletic.
His on-court decision-making and offensive game are raw, but on a team such as the Wizards, he'd have plenty of time to develop. You can't teach his sort of toughness and motor.
Aug 4 Update: "Bam" Adebayo already has the NBA body and athleticism that teams crave in their power forwards. He's an explosive athlete who plays with a great motor. He's going to be a rebounding and shot-blocking machine for Kentucky.
However, his offensive game is still pretty raw. He really needs to develop some sort of perimeter game.
April 10 Update: Adebayo goes by the nickname "Bam" and his game really reflects that. He's an explosive finisher at the rim. Rebounds and blocks shots and plays hard. He skipped the Nike Hoop Summit to keep up with course work. He's going to be one of the most physically mature prospects in the draft. The question is whether his skill set will catch up with his NBA body and athleticism.