NBA Rumors: OKC Thunder Trading Steven Adams For ‘Draft Pick, Young Player, And Salary Relief,’ Per ‘Heavy’

Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is guarded by Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on December 14, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.
Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2019 NBA offseason suddenly turned into chaos when Paul George demanded a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. After the George-to-Clippers blockbuster trade became official, Russell Westbrook expressed his desire to reunite with James Harden, leaving the Thunder with no choice but to send him to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul and draft picks. The Thunder still have enough pieces to compete for a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference next season but since the departure of George and Westbrook, multiple signs are pointing out that Oklahoma City is heading into an inevitable rebuild.

Instead of trying to remain an average playoff contender, the Thunder are expected to trade some of their veterans before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline and focus on the development of their young players in the 2019-20 NBA season. Aside from Chris Paul, the Thunder are also currently active on the market finding a trade partner for veteran center Steven Adams. However, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy, like Paul’s situation, the Thunder are also facing some problems in dealing Adams.

In addition to the two years and $53 million left on his contract, the Thunder are also demanding too many precious trade assets in return for Steven Adams. As revealed by Deveney, the Thunder are seeking a trade package including “a draft pick, a young player and salary relief” for the veteran big man. One league executive who spoke to Heavy believes that the Thunder will have a hard time finding a trade partner for Adams since their asking price is “too high.”

“They set the price too high,” the 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.”

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It remains a big question mark if there will be a team that will be willing to pay the Thunder’s asking price for Steven Adams. However, Adams would undeniably very useful to playoff contenders who need a boost in their frontcourt. Though he’s not a floor-spacing big man, Adams can score in the post, rebound, and protect the rim. 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.

If the Thunder will lower their demand, it will be easier for them to unload Steven Adams and the two years and $53 million left on his contract. According to a previous The Inquisitr article, one of the NBA teams who could express interest in trading for Adams is the San Antonio Spurs.