Yes, the Pelicans love their young core of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, et. al. But if you’re wondering why Lonzo Ball’s name is coming up in trade talks, it’s in part due to New Orleans’ desire to move off some of its expensive, longer deals. While Ball’s deal is expiring (at about $11 million), Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams both have two full seasons left, for nearly $90 million. Ball could serve as a reward to a trade partner for taking on one of those contracts.
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Zach Lowe: As part of his trade to New Orleans, the Pelicans have signed Steven Adams to a 2-year, $35M extension, sources tell @Adrian Wojnarowski and I.
Zach Lowe: Extension runs through the 2022-23 season, is fully guaranteed, sources say.
Bobby Marks: The $27..5M trade exception that OKC has created from the Steve Adams trade to NOP is the largest (for now) in NBA history. OKC will have a year to use.
Bobby Marks: Steven Adams did not have to waive his $2M trade bonus (7.5% of owed salary) to make the deal to New Orleans work. Cap hit for Adams is now $29.59M
Shams Charania: Trade complete: MIL: Jrue Holiday, No. 60 pick Sam Merrill NOLA: Steven Adams, Eric Bledsoe, ‘25/’27 1sts, ‘24/’26 swaps via MIL OKC: George Hill, Josh Gray, Kenrich Williams, Zylan Cheatham, Darius Miller, ‘23 protected 1st via Denver, two 2nd round picks DEN: RJ Hampton
Adrian Wojnarowski: As part of four-team Steven Adams trade, Thunder also receive George Hill, Darius Miller, 2023 Denver protected first-round pick and second-round picks in 2023 (via Charlotte) and 2024 (via Washington), sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: 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: Sources: The Steven Adams-to-Pelicans trade includes Denver, which traded a 2023 lottery protected first-round pick for the 24th pick (RJ Hampton) on draft night. That pick is headed to the Thunder — along with two seconds — for Adams.
Adrian Wojnarowski: New Orleans and Milwaukee are expanding the original Jrue Holiday trade to include more teams and players, including the routing of Steven Adams to the Pelicans, sources tell ESPN. Talks are moving toward a possible four-team trade.
Shams Charania: Oklahoma City is in serious talks to move center Steven Adams to New Orleans, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
With Dennis Schroeder reportedly on the move, rival executives believe the Thunder will continue to explore the trade market on their veterans, including Steven Adams.
On Chris Paul trade scenarios: Gozlan: “Eric Bledsoe, Ersan Ilyasova – assuming you guarantee his $7 million salary for next season – and then you can do a variation of George Hill. I don’t think they want to trade George Hill. I think he was awesome for them, and they want to keep him. In that case, you can get away with Robin Lopez and DJ Wilson. After that, then you start talking about the incentives, maybe Donte DiVincenzo. On OKC’s side, they’d love to get a lot of picks and young players.” Scotto: “At that point, if you’re OKC, you’re signaling you’re fully rebuilding, and you’re going to really start to gut that roster. If you get rid of Chris Paul, Steven Adams will probably be talked about in trades. Dennis Schroeder as well. Danilo Gallinari (free agent) probably wouldn’t be brought back at that point, or you try a sign-and-trade to get him to a certain destination.”
Michael Scotto: “At that point, if you’re OKC, you’re signaling you’re fully rebuilding, and you’re going to really start to gut that roster. If you get rid of Chris Paul, Steven Adams will probably be talked about in trades. Dennis Schroeder as well. Danilo Gallinari (free agent) probably wouldn’t be brought back at that point, or you try a sign-and-trade to get him to a certain destination.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder were a somewhat unexpected playoff team in 19-20 after trading away Paul George and Russell Westbrook last offseason. Chris Paul had a resurgent season and the Thunder were one of the best clutch teams in the league. But the Thunder could still begin a more conventional rebuild if they trade away Paul and follow that move by dealing Dennis Schroder and Steven Adams. “By all appearances, once the Thunder make the move to move on from Chris Paul, that’s kind of when they’re going to hit the reset button,” said Royce Young on The Hoop Collective Podcast. “That’s when I think they’ll start tearing down some of the pieces. Schroder will go. Adams might go. And they’ll start to sort of begin their first ever rebuild since they moved to Oklahoma City.”
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.
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April 13, 2021 | 6:21 pm EDT Update
Mirjam Swanson: Ty Lue on Jamal Murray’s injury: “You hate to see that happen to any player. It makes you put a lot of thought into your team … to make sure your team is as healthy as possible going into the playoffs. It’s a fine line.”
Omari Sanfoka II: Dwane Casey on Cory Joseph: “Cory’s been through it. He played with a top championship program in San Antonio, that’s one reason we brought him to Toronto.” Said his veteran influence is rubbing off on Killian Hayes and the other point guards.
Omari Sanfoka II: Cory Joseph said he anticipated a role similar to what he’s had so far. “They wanted me to come in and be myself and also share my experience … be a mentor to some of them.” Said he and Killian are building a good relationship, as well as with the other rookies.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets honored the life and memory of Daunte Wright –an unarmed Black man killed by police — before Tuesday’s matchup in Minneapolis. The teams held a moment of silence and wore pregame warm-up shirts that read “With liberty and justice for all.”