Though the NBA Draft came and went once again without a UConn Husky selected, senior guard Jalen Adams did sign with the New Orleans Pelicans.
On draft night, the Pelicans added No. 1 pick Zion Williamson and two more first round picks in Texas center Jaxon Hayes (8th overall) and Virginia Tech G/F Nikiel Alexander-Walker (17th overall), added from the Anthony Davis trade. Those rookies will be joined by Adams, who reportedly has signed an Exhibit 10 contract, meaning he’s been singled out as a potential candidate to stay with the Pelicans franchise if he doesn’t make the 12-man roster.
If he’s waived, the Exhibit 10 contract designation entitles Adams to a $50,000 bonus for signing with the Pelicans’ G-League affiliate. The recently-added rule provides a greater incentive for players on the fringe of an NBA roster to stay in the U.S. rather than head overseas.
Adams starred for UConn for all four years of his time in Storrs, hitting an iconic 70-foot buzzer-beater that propelled the Huskies to a conference tournament championship as a freshman. He averaged double-digit scoring in his final three seasons and did a good job of getting his teammates involved as well, averaging nearly five assists per game during that same span. The Huskies did not win as many games or see the postseason success that many had hoped, but there were a loooot of things going on with the program outside of his control.
Ultimately, Adams is a talented guard with good size and skill who could hang on as this team’s third guard and, if not, seems to be someone the Pelicans are interested in keeping and developing either way.