CHICAGO -- Barring some unforseen reason, the Wizards aren't going to use their lottery pick on Steven Adams, a 7-foot center who has played just one year of college basketball.
But they made an impression on the New Zealander, who was giddy about his experiences at the NBA combine Thursday.
Adams was one of a maximum 15 players that the Wizards can interview here. The Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Pelicans also interviewed him and he had about six more teams lined up for later in the day.
Adams’ right leg constantly twitched as he couldn't contain his excitement or stop smiling regardless of the questions. The Wizards have two picks in the second round and if he's still is available it’s plausible that they could snap up the athletic big man.
The draft lottery is Tuesday which will determine exactly where Washington will choose in the first round.
"They're real cool," Adams said of the Wizards' staff, including coach Randy Wittman and GM Ernie Grunfeld. "I felt comfortable when we talked about New Zealand. Apparently one of the dudes' daughters lives in New Zealand. ... I explained that I like to run. They got John Wall. He's fast. He likes pushing the ball and stuff and I just said that I could help by running with him. ... I'd like to go there, definitely."
There's a potential gaping hole in the middle after the 2013-14 season when center Emeka Okafor becomes a free agent and there's always uncertainty with the health of 7-foot power forward Nene who admitted he has considered retirement because of injuries.
Adams wasn't expected to turn pro after producing just 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in 23 minutes at Pittsburgh. But he comes from a poor family, has a deceased father and is one of 19 children.
He made it clear to everyone, including his agent, Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media, that he’s hungry.
“They’re real nice guys,” Adams said of the meal he had with his agency on Wednesday. “We went to a steakhouse last night. (I ate). It was like a 48-ounce steak.”
Adams has a long way to go on the court. At Pittsburgh, the offense wasn't run through him in the post. But Adams can move. The selling point is his potential.
Will Perdue, who spent the first seven years of his 13 with the Chicago Bulls where he was part of three championship teams, has trained with Adams. He called Perdue "the old school dude."
Growing up poor, Adams isn't familiar with fine cuisines. But he was pretty entertaining as a food critic.
“Have you guys ever had sea urchin?” he asked. “That’s horrible.”