Following a summer where they lost Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets and Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Oklahoma City Thunder appear to be in rebuilding mode. Earlier this week, Heavy‘s Sean Deveney wrote that the Thunder are looking to deal Steven Adams to another team, but have a rather steep asking price that includes a future draft pick, a young player, and some “salary relief.” That report named a few teams that were once linked to Adams, including the Boston Celtics, but as Deveney noted, the New Zealand center appears to be an “unlikely fit” due to his salary.
Despite Deveney’s brief explanation of why Adams might not be heading to Boston if the Thunder decide to trade him, Fadeaway World listed the Celtics among five teams that could theoretically make an acceptable deal for the 26-year-old big man. The publication suggested a trade that would send Adams to the Celtics in exchange for three young players — Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams — and multiple future first- and second-round draft picks. Such a deal fulfills two of the Thunder’s purported requirements, and as Fadeaway World explained, the trade could potentially benefit both teams.
Brown would be an ideal addition to Oklahoma City’s roster as he could finally get big minutes from a team that is seemingly focusing on a rebuild. The 22-year-old Brown, who was picked No. 3 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft, has been linked to various trade rumors and has been included in multiple hypothetical trade scenarios, including one that could see the Celtics ship him to the Detroit Pistons for superstar power forward Blake Griffin, according to a recent report from The Inquisitr.
As for the Celtics, Fadeaway World wrote that Boston needs a player like Adams if they want to compete for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, as he has the “star quality” and defensive ability to complement the team’s most likely starting center at the moment, Enes Kanter.
“A twin-towers duo of Kanter and Adams would be difficult to handle, thanks to Adams’s brute physicality and Kanter’s effectiveness on offense. Both players complement each other’s weaknesses, and also gives Boston more toughness inside.”
Adams, who was picked 12th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, has played his entire career thus far with Oklahoma City, having regularly started at center since the 2014-15 season. Per his Basketball-Reference player page, he has averaged 13.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals, and one block per game in the 2018-19 campaign, playing for a Thunder team that finished 49-33 in the regular season before falling to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs.