A source with knowledge of Oklahoma City’s thinking believes Adams is going to stay put with the Thunder ahead of the deadline.
Steven Adams, Dennis Schroder and Danilo Gallinari remain the Thunder players to watch as speculation intensifies ahead of the deadline. "Nobody should pay attention to that," Schroder said Tuesday. "It's a business. When something happens and Sam (Presti) calls us, then we just gotta move forward. Right now I think everyone is in a good place."
Adams said there's always a "tension" before the trade deadline. Rather than sifting through rumors, the Thunder center is waiting to hear from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. "As we all know," Adams said, "what Woj says is prophecy."
Atlanta has been interested in acquiring a starting level center, and have talked with Houston on Capela and Oklahoma City on Steven Adams, league sources said. Atlanta's talks with Detroit on center Andre Drummond lost momentum in recent weeks.
The Hawks are among several teams expressing interest in Rockets center Clint Capela, according to sources. Houston has received several calls on Capela, but is said to be unlikely to move him barring an overwhelming offer. Conversely, several teams are monitoring Hawks big man John Collins and feeling out Atlanta’s asking price, sources said. Collins has so far been part of the Hawks’ young core along with All-Star guard Trae Young. But the Hawks’ need for a more natural center is known, and they have expressed interest in Capela, Sacramento’s Dewayne Dedmon and Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams, too.
What if, instead, the Clippers turned their attention to the Thunder and Adams? "That makes a lot more sense," the second former executive agreed. "He's everything the Clippers would need for the playoffs. If the Thunder got Harrell, they'd still be competitive."
So, obviously, center has to be addressed. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Oklahoma City is open to accepting the higher salaries that teams want to move, including long-term deals. The Thunder’s Steven Adams is one of those players who could be dealt before the deadline, and he is someone who has been discussed by the Hawks, according to a source inside the organization. Adams will make $27 million next season before becoming a free agent in 2021, which is the year Giannis Antetokounmpo could explore free agency, so acquiring Adams would not impact the Hawks during what could be a loaded free agency class.
Speaking of the Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC remains a playoff contender even after trading Westbrook and Paul George last offseason. The Thunder are just 11-12, but that’s good enough today for the 7-seed in the West. Despite their moderate success, plans haven’t changed; Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, and other veterans are all available, according to league sources.
There are a few big names out there who could come on the market, namely Steven Adams in Oklahoma City, though the Thunder have told teams they see Adams as part of their future for the time being. Another center executives are watching is Clint Capela, who was dangled in trade talks early last summer but got pulled back when the Houston Rockets went all-in on a Russell Westbrook deal. If the Rockets need midseason changes, and they almost always itch for them, Capela could be available again.
The Thunder are transitioning now, though, and there's some curiosity about how fans will react to lean years as they reposition the roster. More players will leave, more players will arrive and the turbine will continue to spin. "You're just here to help," Adams said. "And if you can place your brick, whatever you want to call it ... then that's a privilege, you know. That's just cool. "So even if they did trade me, it's obviously just a huge honor. And I know with every player that's here, it's been a huge honor to contribute to the history that Oklahoma is making."
Reports surfaced in recent days suggesting the Kings expressed interest in Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams and could still emerge as a trade partner if Oklahoma City lowers its asking price, but those rumors appear to be untrue. A league source told The Sacramento Bee reports linking the Kings to trade talks for Adams are “not accurate at all.” The source added the Kings “never were” seriously considering a trade for the Oklahoma City strongman.
If there is a team that is a favorite to move for Adams, sources said, it would be Sacramento. The Kings had interest in Adams before free agency began and discussed a potential deal with the Thunder. The talks did not get very far, however. Oklahoma City had eyed one of Sacramento’s young shooting guards, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Sacramento also has forward Harry Giles, who could blossom with more playing time.
Sources told Heavy.com that the Thunder are seeking a draft pick, a young player and salary relief for Adams. “They set the price too high,” one league executive said. “That’s what you’d expect and maybe it will drop as the year goes on. It’s tough to take on his contract (two years, $53 million remaining) and give up picks and players. Most teams are pretty well set at the center spot now, you have a big guy and you have your small lineup. You can’t just take on a contract like that. There isn’t a big number of teams who could take him.”
The Thunder were ousted in the first round by the Portland Trail Blazers in five games, leading to speculation that Adams would be traded from leading NBA experts, including Sports Illustrated's Jake Fischer, ESPN's Zach Lowe and acclaimed sports personality Bill Simmons. "It ain't this thing where you just read about it and you're just surprised that it happened to you. If it's happening to someone else there's a chance it could happen to you - it's common sense," Adams said on Tuesday. "It still affects you in some way, because you're human. Obviously, I care about the organisation here but, again, we're here to support the organisation and the organisation needs to do well and you have to keep that in mind."
Erik Horne: Steven Adams on trade rumors: “If it happens to someone else, there’s a chance it could happen to you. That’s common sense. But it still affects you. You’re human. Even if they do trade me, it’s been a huge honor to just contribute to the history Oklahoma (City) is making."
Mike Fisher: NBA sources tell me they do not expect a match between #Mavs and idea of a salary-dumped Steven Adams of OKC. Will monitor ...
Adams is on Boston’s radar, but it’s unclear where he falls in the team’s pecking order as far as players they plan to pursue, or exactly what they are willing to give up in order to acquire him. But if you’re talking about big men who can make a major impact, Adams is one of those players that has to be given serious consideration.
After three consecutive first-round playoff exits — two with Westbrook and George on the roster together — the Thunder should consider making everyone else available via trade. That doesn’t mean it’s time to make a panic deal involving Adams or Schröder, but their contracts make them the biggest pieces OKC has to make a sweeping change if that’s the route Presti wants to pursue. Despite some struggles against the league’s elite centers this season, Adams remains an excellent defender and valuable pick-and-roll piece. But he’s owed $25 million next season and $27 million in 2020-21, and that might scare off potential trade partners.
August 17, 2022 | 8:47 pm EDT Update
Tommy Beer: Stephen A Smith on SiriumXM w/ @Rick Kamla this afternoon when asked about potential Mitchell deal: “Utah didn’t want Julius Randle, from what I’m told. They don’t want him. The Knicks were willing to unload him. They want RJ Barrett. They want at least 6 1st-round picks.” pic.twitter.com/9Nn7DuwlZe
I knew if we could win Game 3 and go to 3-0, it was pretty much a wrap on the series. It was just a matter of whether [the series would be won] in Game 4 or a “gentleman’s sweep” in Game 5. Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, we got a stop, and I was just talking to myself: “Put ‘em to sleep. Put ‘em to sleep.” That was the conversation I was having with myself. Not with anyone else on the team or anyone else in the arena. Then, I had finished that layup underneath Jokic, and that was the thought that came out – just to do the sign. I didn’t say, “Night Night” at the time. I was just telling myself, “Put ‘em to sleep.” Fast forward to Game 5, when I made the last layup to go up five with 19 seconds left. That was the official, “Put them to sleep.” The camera didn’t get me on that one, but I actually said it. Fast forward to Memphis, Dallas and then Boston, and it kind of took on a life of its own.
NDP: How did it feel to break it out again in Boston and seal the Finals win? SC: It felt the best. The way that game went, it was an emotional rollercoaster. They came out just hitting every shot, and they were up double digits in the first four minutes. We slowly just crept back and then went on that 21-nothing run. When we came out in the third quarter, everyone was feeling it. Let’s just step on their throats, right now.
NDP: What’s it been like seeing athletes from sports all around the world doing the celebration? SC: It’s the best, ’cause some are taking it to new extremes that I would never feel comfortable doing in the league. But it’s dope to know how far the reach is. I’ve told people before, “I know there’s people that did the symbol before me.” But to know that you cemented a moment that’s on the biggest of stages, and people are inspired by it and want to have fun with whatever they’re doing with it — they’ve taken their own spin on it and have had some creativity with it.
August 17, 2022 | 7:21 pm EDT Update
CJ Holmes: Here’s all four of the Warriors’ long road trips this season: Oct. 29 – Nov 4: Charlotte, Detroit, Miami, Orlando, New Orleans Dec. 13 – 27: Milwaukee, Indiana, Philadelphia, Toronto, New York, Brooklyn Jan 13 – 20: San Antonio, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Cleveland
Jason Dumas: Looks like a local artist in the LA area has painted a mural of JTA in Inglewood. It’ll be unveiled to the public tomorrow. I realized how impactful Juan was at the first Mexican-American to win an NBA Finals during the Warriors parade. Cool stuff. pic.twitter.com/rTPdj8Op4c
August 17, 2022 | 5:43 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: The NBA’s new schedule has 55 baseball-style series in which the road team plays the same foe twice in a row without travel … up from 23 last season. Plus 33 instances on the schedule in which the road team stays in LA or New York to play both local teams on the same trip.