Edrice ‘Bam’ Adebayo
Weight: 243 pounds
Bam Adebayo has all of the makings of a defensive-minded, rim-running center that is perfect in this era of NBA basketball.
The first thing that stands out about Adebayo are his physical tools. He is slightly undersized for a center, but has the length and strength to make up for it. Most importantly he is an outstanding athlete and it shows up on both ends of the floor.
Defensively, he has the quickness to switch out on to guards and contain them on the perimeter. He has also shown the ability to protect the rim at times, and has the strength and bulk to battle with NBA-level big men from day one.
On offense he has the speed to beat opposing bigs down the floor in transition and he is an excellent finisher at the rim who goes up strong and quickly, and finishes with authority. He also sets good, hard screens and should be a factor in the pick-and-roll immediately.
Adebayo is a good rebounder as well, but is especially strong on the offensive glass where he pulled down more than three a game. He is also a high motor player, constantly giving maximum energy at all times when on the floor.
Adebayo’s basketball IQ is still developing right now so he struggles with some of the more cerebral parts of the game. He doesn’t see the floor well enough yet to make good reads and passes out of the post, and may also struggle with some defensive schemes and being in position on helpside defense.
His overall offensive game is extremely raw right now as he is completely reliant on others to set him up for easy baskets. He lacks any refined post moves and is completely ineffective outside of the paint.
He is also only an average rim protector and defensive rebounder. Some of this is because of lack of focus. He can forget to box out his man and instead go straight for the ball and his overall awareness on that end of the floor is less than desirable.
Player Comparison: Tristan Thompson
Thompson and Adebayo are nearly mirror images of each other. Thompson is a slightly undersized center with excellent length who thrives as a high energy big man that does major damage on the offensive glass.
Adebayo is a slightly more explosive athlete than Thompson, but the excellent offensive rebounding, and paint-centric offensive game are exact replicas. Even the weaknesses such as average rim protection and defensive rebounding are the same.
The question for Adebayo will be how much he develops once he is in the league. If he can become just slightly more well-rounded offensively, while also improving his rim protection he will be a very valuable player in this league.
Fit with the Lakers
The Lakers had two high-energy bigs who crashed the glass and worked hard on defense last year in Tarik Black and Thomas Robinson. Black’s contract for next season has yet to be guaranteed and Robinson is a free agent so it is not a sure thing that either of them will be around next year.
Adebayo could potentially take on that role as a defensive-minded backup center who can bring energy in spurts early on while he develops. Even with Ivica Zubac on the roster, Adebayo brings a completely different dimension, especially with his ability to switch out on guards, something Zubac hasn’t yet proven he can do.
Even though he is raw and has a lot of developing to do, Adebayo has the raw tools, energy, and work ethic to get better. For a team that wants to get up and down the floor, he is an ideal big man who could keep up with the young Laker guards.