The New Orleans Pelicans faced a need to address the center position after Derrick Favors departed to the Utah Jazz. The answer appears to be Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder via trade.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pelicans have expanded the trade that will send Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks by including the Thunder— netting them Steven Adams in return in exchange for a future first-round pick and second-round picks.
The potential fit pairing Zion Williamson with Adams is less than ideal, to say the least. Adams may be the most interior oriented center in the NBA and the same can be said about Williamson regarding his standing with the other power forwards across the league.
The Pelicans will improve defensively with Adams and will be able to dominate the boards on both ends— as he anchored the Thunder for years. It just remains to be seen how effective their half-court offense will be without having perimeter shooting impact from either of their power forward or center positions.
It’s clear what the primary objective is for the Thunder— trade all of their established veterans for NBA Draft compensation to maximize their war chest of long-term assets. Oklahoma City doesn’t need to hold onto players like Adams when the future is what they’re focused on.
The New Orleans Pelicans will look to make a push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference during the upcoming NBA season— even after trading away Jrue Holiday. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder appear to be set on landing the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
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