The Oklahoma City Thunder headed into the 2019 NBA offseason with the goal of surrounding Russell Westbrook and Paul George with a better supporting cast that could help them fully dominate the Western Conference and contend for the NBA championship. Unfortunately, everything suddenly turned into chaos when George demanded a trade to team up with Kawhi Leonard on the Los Angeles Clippers. George’s trade request was followed by Westbrook’s desire to reunite with James Harden on the Houston Rockets.
From being a legitimate playoff contender in the Western Conference, the Thunder found themselves facing an inevitable rebuild. After trading Russell Westbrook and Paul George, the Thunder are highly expected to part ways with some of their veterans, including 26-year-old center Steven Adams. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, with the Thunder likely heading into unfamiliar territory, Adams is waiting for a legitimate contender to take him out from Oklahoma City and bring him back to the playoff race. As Buckley noted, one of the ideal landing spots for Steven Adams is the San Antonio Spurs.
“If this is direction they want to go in, they should make a play for stranded center Steven Adams. The 26-year-old is waiting for some competitive club to pull him out of the wreckage in OKC and drop him back into the playoff race. The Spurs could scratch that itch, and he’d return the favor by anchoring the middle and allowing LaMarcus Aldridge to get back to his comfort zone at the 4.”
The Spurs may already have LaMarcus Aldridge as their starting center but Buckley believes that the potential acquisition of Steven Adams would enable him to return to his normal position at the 4. Though both big men aren’t legitimate floor-spacers, Buckley believes that their frontcourt tandem in San Antonio could work for the Spurs.
“What an Adams-Aldridge frontcourt lacks in athleticism, it might compensate for with size and brute strength. Adams does the dirty work as a screener and rebounder, which would free Aldridge and DeRozan to handle the scoring duties.”
Steven Adams would be a great addition to the Spurs, giving them a veteran center with plenty of playoff experience and hasn’t suffered major injuries since entering the league in 2013. In 80 games he played last season, Adams averaged 13.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.0 block, and 1.5 steals while shooting 59.5 percent from the field. The Thunder aren’t expected to demand many assets in return for Adams. Buckley believes that a trade package including Jakob Poeltl, together with salary cap fillers, would be enough to convince the Thunder to send Adams to San Antonio.