Steven Adams 'untradeable' as Oklahoma City Thunder tipped to rebuild

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Monday, 8 July 2019, 3:25PM
Steven Adams was offered to other teams over the last few weeks, one writer says. (Photo / AP)
Steven Adams was offered to other teams over the last few weeks, one writer says. (Photo / AP)

The crazy NBA off season got crazier in the weekend when finals MVP Kawhi Leonard announced he was signing with the Los Angles Clippers along with fellow All-Star Paul George who was part of a blockbuster trade to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Having just led the Toronto Raptors to their maiden title in his first and now only season in Canada, Leonard and George instantly make the Clippers one of the favourites to win next season's NBA championship while the Thunder are left to consider a total rebuild.

George agreed to a four-year, US$137m max contract with the Thunder just last July as Oklahoma City secured a second star to play alongside 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook for the long term.

But with George demanding a trade just one year into that deal there are suggestions the Thunder may also part with Westbrook leaving Kiwi Steven Adams' side in a total rebuilding phase.

After two seasons together Westbrook and George failed to get the Thunder out of the first round of the playoffs while the team's salary cap sheet was looking to be over the luxury gap limit for the second year in a row.

They received five first-round picks and multiple pick swaps from the Clippers in the trade for George with gives Thunder Sam Presti a strong incentive to look to the future.

In the Bill Simmons podcast, Sports Illustrated writer Chris Mannix said that Adams was offered other teams in the last few weeks but was 'untradeable'.

The Kiwi signed a four-year US$100m deal with the Thunder two years ago and is owed more than $53m over the next two seasons.

"I think this was the all-time get out of jail free card. That roster was going nowhere," Simmons said about the Thunder.

"Steven Adams was available two weeks ago as you know," the basketball pundit added.

"Untradeable. Untradeable at this point," Mannix replied.

Adams was outplayed in the Thunder's first round exit against Portland.

Simmons and Mannix suggested that the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic or New York Knicks could be possble destinations for Westbrook who has played 11 seasons in Oklahoma City since being drafted fourth overall in the 2008 draft.