After seven years in the Sooner State with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pitt product Steven Adams is on the move, as he was traded overnight to the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who noted that the Adams trade was part of a four-team deal that also involves the Milwaukee Bucks and the Denver Nuggets.
The Thunder have agreed in principle to trade Steven Adams to the Pelicans as part of a multi-team trade, sources tell ESPN. OKC is getting back -- wait for it -- future first-round pick and second-round picks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 21, 2020
In exchange for Adams, the Thunder will net a 2023 first-round draft pick from the Nuggets via the Pelicans in addition to two future second-round picks from the Pelicans. The deal is also set to send Jrue Holiday from New Orleans to Milwaukee. And the end result for Adams is that he will join a frontcourt that boasts former Duke star and one-time five-star Jeff Capel recruit Zion Williamson.
The move comes as the Thunder move into a full rebuild, as the team recently traded Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns and Danilo Gallinari to the Atlanta Hawks. And while it marks the end of an era for Adams, it also signifies the start of what could be a great new chapter in his career, as he will assume a leadership role as a veteran on a young team that features rising stars Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram.
Adams was selected by the Thunder with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NBA draft. That came after a promising but brief stint at Pitt under former coach Jamie Dixon. During his time with the Thunder, Adams transitioned from a lanky and undeveloped prospect into one of the NBA's top centers.
Over the first seven years of his career, Adams has averaged 9.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. But over the last four seasons, the New Zealand native has done some of his best work and upped his averages to 12.6 points and 8.8 rebounds. He also played alongside the likes of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Paul George and Russell Westbrook, all of whom have since moved on to other NBA franchises.
Whether the 6’11”, 265-pound center will remain in New Orleans on a long-tern basis remains to be seen. Adams comes to New Orleans on the final year of his contract and will make $27.58 million over the course of the coming season in the Big Easy. After that, his options will open up, and the former Pitt center could end up on the move again.