Three-point shooting range isn’t required of NBA centers, but in these days when spacing and versatility are at premium, it can only help Bam Adebayo.
Adebayo, who played his final high school season in High Point, N.C., before going to Kentucky, was one of six draft candidates at a Charlotte Hornets workout Sunday. At the end of each pre-draft workout, the Hornets have all players take five NBA three-pointers from each of five semi-circle spots.
Adebayo, who missed the only three-pointer he attempted in his single college season, swished 13 of 25 attempts in that drill. Granted, Adebayo was shooting unguarded, but that accuracy didn’t surprise him.
“I’ve been shooting the ball since I was 12 years old. I was always getting better,” Adebayo said. “I wasn’t asked to do it (from the perimeter) at Kentucky because we all played our parts; we all sacrificed certain stuff.
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“In these workouts, I can more do what I want, so I show them what I can do.”
Kentucky Coach John Calipari has churned out a slew of one-and-done NBA prospects, including big men Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, and Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Calipari predicted last month that Adebayo would be a lottery pick (a top-14 selection). Charlotte has the 11th overall pick.
Adebayo averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks last season. He is sometimes compared in physique to eight-time NBA All-Star Dwight Howard.
“I see the body type (similarity); I’ve got wide shoulders, he’s got wide shoulders. I’m muscular and he’s muscular. We’re both 6-10 and above,” Adebayo said of Howard.
Sunday was Adebayo’s ninth and final workout before Thursday’s draft.
“The stressful part is the airports; going through security,” Adebayo said. “One day it can be short and the next day you think, ‘God, this line is so long!’”
That won’t be a problem in the future. NBA teams all fly charter.