Bam Adebayo was having quite the personal campaign before the NBA went into shutdown mode in March, having become an All-Star for the first time after his exploits helped turn things around for the Miami Heat.
The young center is in his third year in the league, joining the team after being drafted from the University of Kentucky at No.14 in 2017. Markelle Fultz was the first overall pick that year, with Lonzo Ball coming in at No.2.
According to the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson, a veteran scout has expressed the belief that Adebayo would go top five if the draft were to happen again. Of course, that’s never going to be the case, but it’s a very nice compliment.
“If that draft were held now, the veteran scout said he believes Adebayo would go fourth or fifth instead of 14th, behind only Jayson Tatum (selected third), Donovan Mitchell (13th) and De’Aaron Fox (the fifth pick that year who’s averaging 20.4 points per game for Sacramento) and possibly Lonzo Ball,” Jackson wrote.
Adebayo is averaging 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game and has developed into one of the most versatile players in the NBA. His raw athleticism makes him a potent scorer in the post, he boasts remarkable playmaking ability for a big man, while also impressively formidable on defense.
What’s more, the 22-year-old has hardly reached the peak of his powers and should continue to improve every aspect of his game, including his jump shot, which hasn’t been consistent so far.
Given some of the names who went before him in the draft, it would be hard to convince anyone Adebayo shouldn’t have been in the top five. The Heat must be pretty happy he wasn’t, though.