Much like some of his other teammates, Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams has been featured in multiple trade rumors since the lead-up to the NBA 2019-20 season. A number of rival teams have been linked to the New Zealand big man over the past few months, and as a new report suggests, the Atlanta Hawks appear to be targeting him ahead of the February trade deadline.
Quoting a story from subscriber-only publication The Athletic, Bleacher Report wrote that Adams is “someone who has been discussed” by the Hawks, per sources familiar with the situation in Atlanta. With six wins and 24 losses, the Hawks are tied with the Golden State Warriors for the worst record in the entire NBA, and the team’s purported interest in Adams appears to mesh with previous rumors regarding their plans to improve their standing in the league. As noted, a previous report from The Athletic touched on star point guard Trae Young’s “emotional” state after a recent loss, which supposedly led to a promise from the Hawks front office that he will be “[getting] some help” soon.
Although he has seen his playing time slightly decrease in the 2019-20 season, Adams has continued producing solidly for the Thunder, as shown on his Basketball-Reference player page. Currently, he is averaging 11.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 blocks in just 27.5 minutes per game, while also shooting an impressive 62.4 percent from the field. According to Bleacher Report, trading him to Atlanta would give the Hawks an experienced starting center with good defensive skills, thus potentially helping them become “more competitive” despite the possibility of a third straight 50-loss season.
Steven Adams is king of the big man dark arts. Grabbed Wendell Carter's arm first and got Carter called for the foul. pic.twitter.com/DqbWp4eXGb
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) December 17, 2019
As for the Thunder, Bleacher Report speculated that unloading Adams’ lucrative contract, which will pay him $24.2 million this season and $27.5 million in 2020-21, could be a good motivation for Oklahoma City to trade him before the February deadline. The Thunder are at seventh place in the Western Conference with a 15-14 record, with Adams scoring 20 points and pulling down 17 rebounds in the team’s 118-112 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, per Newshub.
No specific trade ideas were recommended in Bleacher Report‘s piece, but the Hawks are not the only Eastern Conference team that could target Adams. According to The Inquisitr, the Boston Celtics have often been proposed as a potential destination. A report suggested in October that the Celtics could theoretically acquire the 26-year-old center — and backup point guard Dennis Schroder — for a package centered on veteran wingman Gordon Hayward and rookie guard Romeo Langford.