Bay of Plenty Times

Pel­i­cans lock in big Kiwi

Four-team trade takes Adams to a bet­ter sit­u­a­tion and a club on the rise in the NBA

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New Zealand bas­ket­baller Steven Adams’ move within the NBA has been con­firmed with his trade from the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der to the New Or­leans Pel­i­cans.

Fi­nan­cial de­tails weren’t given but the two-year ex­ten­sion is re­ported to be worth $50 mil­lion. He also picks up a $3mil­lion trade bonus. The deals runs through the 2022-23 sea­son and is fully guar­an­teed.

The 2.13m cen­tre has played his en­tire seven-year ca­reer at OKC, who have de­cided to un­load the ma­jor­ity of their squad.

He will link up with power for­ward Zion Wil­liamson, the num­ber one draft pick last year, at the Pel­i­cans. The Pel­i­cans also have Bran­don In­gram and Lonzo Ball in their lineup but have made the play-offs just once in the last five years.

Adams ap­peared in 530 ca­reer reg­u­lar sea­son games with the Thun­der, amass­ing ca­reer av­er­ages of 9.8 points on .589 shoot­ing, 7.6 re­bounds, 1.2 as­sists, 0.9 steals and 1.0 block.

He played 63 games in 2019-20, av­er­ag­ing 10.9 points on .592 shoot­ing, 9.3 re­bounds, 2.3 as­sists and 1.1 blocks.

Se­lected 12th over­all out of the Univer­sity of Pittsburgh in the 2013 NBA Draft, Adams ranks fifth all-time in Okc/seat­tle fran­chise his­tory in blocks (531) and first in field goal per­cent­age.

Adams was a part of a four-team trade in­volv­ing the Pel­i­cans, Den­ver Nuggets, Mil­wau­kee Bucks and Thun­der.

The Pel­i­cans ac­quired Adams (via Ok­la­homa City) and Eric Bled­soe (via Mil­wau­kee), as well as two fu­ture first round draft picks from Mil­wau­kee and the right to swap two ad­di­tional first round picks with the Bucks. In ex­change, Mil­wau­kee have ac­quired Jrue Hol­i­day and the draft rights to Sam Mer­rill, the 60th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft (via New Or­leans); Den­ver have ac­quired the draft rights to R. J. Hamp­ton, the 24th over­all pick in the 2020 NBA Draft (via Mil­wau­kee); and Ok­la­homa City ac­quired a fu­ture first round draft pick (via Den­ver), Ge­orge Hill (via Mil­wau­kee), Zy­lan Cheatham, Josh Gray, Dar­ius Miller and Ken­rich Wil­liams (via New Or­leans) as well as two sec­ond round draft picks from the Pel­i­cans (2023 via Wash­ing­ton, 2024 via Char­lotte).

“Steven Adams and Eric Bled­soe are not only fiercely com­pet­i­tive and driven to suc­ceed at the high­est lev­els, they are proven win­ners with a team-first men­tal­ity,” said Pel­i­cans ex­ec­u­tive David Grif­fin.

“As we con­tinue to build to­ward the sus­tain­able suc­cess our own­er­ship de­mands and our fans so richly de­serve, we are grate­ful to be able to do so with such high-qual­ity team­mates and hu­man be­ings.”

The Tall Blacks Asia Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion matches against Aus­tralian and Hong Kong have been post­poned be­cause of Covid-19.

The Tall Blacks were due to host Hong Kong to­mor­row and Aus­tralia on Mon­day.

Bas­ket­ball New Zealand High Per­for­mance man­ager Leonard King said the global pan­demic and the rel­a­tive iso­la­tion of New Zealand has de­fied all the best-laid plans.

“We have been work­ing on var­i­ous op­tions to get games played for months, not know­ing what the sit­u­a­tion was go­ing to be like come late Novem­ber.

“Un­for­tu­nately, how­ever, cur­rent bor­der re­stric­tions and quar­an­tine reg­u­la­tions mean we sim­ply couldn’t get on the floor in Novem­ber, but we re­main hope­ful that some of these re­stric­tions may ease in time for games to be played early next year.

“Un­der­stand­ably ev­ery­one is ner­vous of any un­nec­es­sary travel and the im­pact that might have on their well­be­ing in these un­cer­tain times.”

King said while it’s dis­ap­point­ing given the Tall Blacks’ strong 2019 World Cup re­sults and a win over Aus­tralia in Fe­bru­ary in the first round of the Asia Cup qual­i­fiers, BBNZ re­mains com­mit­ted to play­ing the qual­i­fiers and ful­fill­ing other upcoming in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments.

The next FIBA win­dow is sched­uled for Fe­bru­ary 15-23 and King is hope­ful the matches may go ahead then sub­ject to bor­der and quar­an­tine re­stric­tions.

The Tall Blacks are cur­rently top of Group C af­ter de­feat­ing Aus­tralia and Guam in the first round.— RNZ

 ?? Photo / Getty Im­ages ?? Af­ter seven sea­sons pa­trolling the paint for OKC, Steven Adams (cen­tre) is off to New Or­leans.
Photo / Getty Im­ages Af­ter seven sea­sons pa­trolling the paint for OKC, Steven Adams (cen­tre) is off to New Or­leans.

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