Grizzlies take UCLA's Adams in NBA Draft

Jordan Adams averaged 17.4 points a game for UCLA this past season.

Ed Szczepanski / USA TODAY Sports

MEMPHIS, Tenn.  -- The Memphis Grizzlies have selected shooting guard Jordan Adams of UCLA with the 22nd pick in Thursday's NBA draft.

Adams, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard who played two seasons at UCLA, could help fill a scoring void for the Grizzlies. He is a known scorer and with 3-point range. He also has a reputation for being an adequate defender, which would fit into the mindset of one of the best defensive teams in the league.

Adams, a first team All-Pac 12 selection last season, averaged 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He also added 2.6 steals a game. His 168 career steals are seventh in the Bruins history, including a single season best of 95 steals.

The Grizzlies entered the draft touting the desire for a possible backup point guard or a long-range shooter to help with the scoring on a team that averaged 96 points last season, near the bottom of the league.

Then there was the always-mentioned best player available.

But point guards like Shabazz Napier and Russ Smith were still available, along with shooters like P.J. Hairston of the NBDL and the Grizzlies passed, taking Adams instead.

With the Grizzlies slotted in the latter stages of the first round, cherished players like Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Marcus Smart never even made it to Memphis for a pre-draft workout.

Instead, the Grizzlies looked at 6-foot-7 forwards Cleanthony Early from Wichita State and Glenn Robinson III out of Michigan, Louisville guard Smith and Clemson's K.J. McDaniel, Kyle Anderson and Adams, both of UCLA and Napier of national champion Connecticut.

They also worked out Jarnell Stokes of Tennessee, a possibility to land in his hometown.

Adams worked out for Memphis earlier in the draft preparations, and he was supposed to return for a second workout this week, but was stymied by travel problems.

There were several rumors throughout the day that Memphis was trying to gain a second round pick in the draft, possibly moving forward Tayshaun Prince and his $7.7 million contract for next season.

The draft was the first for the Grizzlies since a front office upheaval last month that led to the departure of chief executive officer Jason Levien and player personnel director Stu Lash, dispatched by majority owner Robert Pera. Chris Wallace took charge temporarily returning to an active role as general manager with John Hollinger staying as vice president of basketball operations.

A foursome of Pera, Wallace, Hollinger and head coach Dave Joerger, who conducted many of the draft workouts, were the prime decision-makers for the franchise in the draft.

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