Another member of the OKC Thunder core exits as Steven Adams heads to the Pelicans as part of a four-team blockbuster deal.
The OKC Thunder continued their active week sending out big man Steven Adams to the New Orleans Pelicans. This is part of a much larger four-team trade that centered on Jrue Holiday heading to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Thunder fans entered the week expecting to witness the trades of Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder. Moreover, with a watered-down free-agent class, Danilo Gallinari was expected to be among the first players off the board.
That’s precisely what happened as the trio witnessed the guards trades as Schroder went to the Lakers and Paul to the Suns. Meanwhile., free agent Gallo signed a three-year deal with the Hawks.
What has made this week unique is the draft, free agency, and typical trades are all being grouped together. That’s become essential given camp will begin at the start of December and the season will open on the 22nd.
OKC Thunder trade Steven Adams to Pelicans
Although, OKC Thunder fans knew Adams could be traded it felt like perhaps he would be the last on the list of veteran talent to leave. That assumption proved accurate although this move was likely expedited due to the deal with the 76ers that brought back Al Horford.
Having two centers on a tanking team each earning $27.5M this season wasn’t going to cut it. So, when Derrick Favors elected to return to the Jazz as a free agent the Pels became eager partners to land Adams. The Big Kiwi will serve as a great mentor for both Zion Williamson and youngster Jaxson Hayes.
Very early Saturday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news the Adams was headed to New Orleans. I’m already imagining the body jarring screens Adams and Williamson are going to hit opponents with – – yikes.
The New Zealand native was drafted 12th overall in 2013 and has spent all seven years of his career with the OKC Thunder.
The four-year $100M extension he signed in 2016 finishes at the end of this coming campaign. That meant Presti would be looking to get something for his center this season.
As noted earlier the deal to send James Johnson to the Mavericks is also looped into this four-team deal.
As for the particulars of what Sam Presti negotiated in return for the OKC Thunder I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone there are draft picks involved.
Here is how the deal lays out for all parties:
It’s uncertain if there will be tweaks to the deals in terms of the draft picks now that Adams has been added to the mix but here’s how things stand as far as we can decipher.
OKC Thunder gets:
- George Hill
- Darius Miller
- 2023 Nuggets first-round pick (protected)
- 2023 Wizards second-round pick
- 2024 Hornets second-round pick
Milwaukee Bucks get:
- Jrue Holiday
- 60th pick from 2020 draft (Sam Merrill)
New Orleans Pelicans get:
- Steven Adams
- Eric Bledsoe
- 2025 and 2027 Bucks first-round unprotected picks
- 2024 and 2026 Bucks first-round draft swaps
- 2020 first-round pick RJ Hampton (24th)
More from Thunderous Intentions
The trade was so confusing at one part the three-team deal that sent James Johnson to the Mavericks and Trevor Ariza to the OKC Thunder was thought to potentially also be a part of this deal.
If we’ve learned anything this week it would be not to start assuming George Hill, Darius Miller, or Justin Jackson will be staying put. And, if you like to bet I’d put good money on Trevor Ariza getting traded to his fifth team this offseason.
For now, the main takeaway is Sam Presti picked up another first-round pick, two seconds, and another pick in the three-team deal with the Pistons and Mavericks which has yet to be clarified.
Stay tuned as we’re likely to have more turns through the carousel this weekend.
We’ll also be back with a more fitting farewell to Adams, but in the interim here’s wishing him a great season in New Orleans and a big thank you goes out for the past seven years of memories both on and off the court.