NBA Trade Rumors: Oklahoma City Thunder likely to trade Steven Adams ahead of the trade deadline
What's the rumor?
The Oklahoma City Thunder entered rebuild mode this summer after trading away its All-Star duo of Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Nevertheless, OKC still has plenty of veteran stars on the roster, and Greg Swart of Bleacher Report believes that Steven Adams will be traded ahead of the trade deadline.
As the final Thunder employee who will attract buyer attention, Steven Adams is the youngest, and he's a potential anchor of a defense. Trading off Paul George and Russell Westbrook likely means everyone is available. The Thunder would be wise to let Adams inflate his numbers first and then take calls closer to the deadline.
In case you didn't know...
Adams has spent his entire career with the Thunder since being selected with the 12th overall pick of the 2013 draft. The 26-year-old has grown into a key performer under Billy Donovan and Adams is coming off a season in which he averaged career-highs in points (13.9) and rebounds (9.5). The center still has two years remaining on the four-year, $100 million contract extension that he signed back in the summer of 2016.
The heart of the matter
Without Westbrook, Adams will take on a much bigger role in Oklahoma City, and is likely to post career-high numbers in both points and rebounds during the opening months of the season. Due to this, it makes sense for the Thunder to keep him around while his trade value increases, although if Adams can live up to his potential, a team such as the Celtics will likely come calling ahead of the deadline.
The Thunder will begin their season with a road contest against the Utah Jazz on October 23rd, before hosting the Washington Wizards two days later.