OKC Thunder center Steven Adams leaps to No. 38 on Sports Illustrated Top 100 list

Steven Adams, Billy Donovan, OKC Thunder (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Steven Adams, Billy Donovan, OKC Thunder (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder big man Steven Adams jumps nine steps up the Sports Illustrated Top 100 NBA player list landing at number 38.

Steven Adams is the second OKC Thunder player to hit the Sports Illustrated Top 100 NBA players list. Writers  Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney  pay homage to the New Zealand center at number 38 on the 2019 Top 100 NBA players list.

His new ranking is nine positions higher than last season’s 47th rank of the 2018 Top 100 list. To demonstrate his growth a gander at who surrounds him in the course of one season tells a story. In 2018 he was flanked by Nicolas Batum (48) and Andre Iguodala (46). Quality players in their own right, but each is suffering a bit of regression. Batum based on health and a Hornet’s club lacking depth. Iggy meanwhile remains the epitome of the modern day top reserve man, especially with Manu Ginobili‘s retirement. These men rank 73rd and 87th respectively on the 2019 list.

Adams new wing men on the Top 100 list are Jayson Tatum (39) and Paul Millsap (37th),  Perhaps more than any of the current iteration of the OKC Thunder Adams has the greatest potential for ascent in large margins of the ranking list.

Like the Dennis Schroder ranking profile Rob Mahoney covers all the OKC Thunder inclusions on the top 100 list. This is just a portion of the excerpt from his full article which you can find the link to at the bottom of the article.

"Adams (13.9 PPG, 9.0 RPG) played the third-most minutes of any center in the league last season because 1) he tends to stay healthy, and 2) he can’t be played off the floor. Any attempt to weed out Adams all but fails before it starts. Small ball is no real deterrent. Adams can hold his own on the perimeter to the point that he isn’t easily exploited. Meanwhile, some poor, undersized center is left to contend with one of the strongest players in the league. If Adams can politely nudge opposing centers out of the way when necessary, what hope does a power forward masquerading as a center really have?— RMMore from Thunder NewsStealing one player from every Southwest Division team for the OKC ThunderShould the OKC Thunder chase after a disgruntled hometown hero?3 OKC Thunder players who can step up in Aleksej Pokusevski’s absenceAleksej Pokusevski sidelined approximately 6 weeks with ankle injuryDamian Lillard does not fit with the OKC Thunder"

Some here at T.I. felt the true third member of the OK3 was the New Zealand native. Maybe the nickname is gone, but there shouldn’t be any question who the big three in OKC are.

When the Thunder fell unexpectedly to Utah in the first round Adam’s health and the wear and tear showed, particularly in the losses.

With the addition of Nerlens Noel the hope is Adams will be the primary benefactor of his presence, so the Big Kiwi can arrive in April more rested and ready to rumble.

If Donovan can manage his minutes and he plays beside a starting power forward who he doesn’t have to constantly cover for he should experience another big jump in the listings next season.

Next. Kiwi Bible – An ultimate guide to Steven Adams. dark

For Rob Mahoney’s full article and the complete top 100 list click here.