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Grizzlies first rounder Jordan Adams gets smaller guaranteed salary, weight-based incentive

Aug 6, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT

2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Getty Images

At UCLA, Jordan Adams scored at NBA-worthy levels.

He just didn’t look like an NBA player.

A little heavier and less athletic than a prototypical NBA prospect, Adams fought perception throughout the pre-draft process. He measured 6-foot-3.5 without shoes and 209 pounds at the combine, and only Kyle Anderson and (13.4) and Nik Stauskas (12.1) checked win with higher body-fat percentages than Adams (10.8).

But the Grizzlies saw through the physical concerns and drafted Adams No. 22.

However, there was a catch.

Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com:

I guess Jusuf Nurkic wasn’t the only first-round pick who didn’t received the standard fully guaranteed 120%-of-scale rookie contract. Adams’ salary can’t exceed 120% of scale, even with bonuses. So that means Adams making weight would be the only way to reach the full 120%. If he fails the test, he’ll make less.

Somewhere, former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is shaking his head.

In 2010, Heisley tried to tie a portion of Xavier Henry’s and Greivis Vasquez’s rookie-scale contracts to incentives. As a result – on the recommendation of Henry’s agent, Arn Tellem – the players held out until mid-September.

Finally, Memphis offered them the fully guaranteed 120%. Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal:

“In the general spirit of the way (the CBA) was put together, I felt we should relent and not have a performance situation,” Heisley said. “I don’t think I was on the right side of the issue.”

Tellem told The Associated Press last month that only one player out of more than 450 since the rookie salary scale was instituted in 1995 has agreed to a performance bonus.

Was that one player Williams?

Regardless, Adams didn’t drive such a hard bargain, which could lead to problems down the road. Not only did he relinquish guaranteed money nearly other first-round pick gets, he tied his remaining salary to a trait that is hard to accurately test.

Do you really think Stauskas had such a high body-fat percentage? If he did, it didn’t show like it did with Adams and UCLA teammate Anderson.

I’m surprised Adams agreed to this. I’d be less surprised if this ends in arbitration when one side is unhappy with the results of the test.

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