Steven Adams is set to join a new team in the NBA.
After seven seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Kiwi star is reportedly set to be traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Respected NBA reporter Shams Charania first reported that Adams is set to join the Pelicans, before ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added that Adams is set to be part of the originally-reported Jrue Holiday deal, which saw the Milwaukee Bucks pick up the high-profile guard in exchange for several draft picks from the Pelicans.
Wojnarowski later confirmed that the Thunder have “agreed in principle” to move Adams to the Pelicans for future draft picks.
Adams has spent his entire NBA career with the Thunder since he was drafted in 2013, playing 530 regular season and 59 playoff games, but with the Thunder rebuilding their roster for the future with an emphasis on collecting draft picks, Adams – and his US$27.5 million contract for the upcoming 2020-21 season – has become less valuable.
Adams, 27, has one year remaining on his initial four-year contract before he becomes a free agent at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season.
The Pelicans have the required cap space to include Adams’ sizeable contract on their books for the season ahead, though could still look to trade him to another interested party. However, as things stand, Adams would likely link up with rising sensation and 2019 No 1 draft pick Zion Williamson in the Pelicans’ starting frontcourt.
When finalised, Adams’ departure from Oklahoma City would see him exit in 10th all-time in games played for the franchise, second in offensive rebounds, seventh in total rebounds, fifth in blocks and first in field goal percentage.
New Orleans has had a New Zealand influence in their team before, with Sean Marks playing 79 games over two seasons from 2008-2010, when the franchise was known as the New Orleans Hornets. New Zealand Breakers guard Corey Webster also spent pre-season with the squad in the 2015.
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