New Orleans Pelicans acquire NBA’s ‘toughest man’ in trade with Oklahoma City Thunder

The New Orleans Pelicans have acquired center Steven Adams from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a trade.

Adams spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Thunder and was voted the league’s “toughest player.”

The Pels starting center during the 2019-2020 season was Derrick Favors, but on Friday evening he signed with the Utah Jazz.

A native of New Zealand, the 6’11, 265 lbs. Adams was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

The 27-year-old Adams averaged 10.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks for Oklahoma City last season. He’s been a consistent interior presence even as the Thunder transitioned through Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul.

New Orleans will pair Adams with Zion Williamson, forming one of the most intimidating interior tandems in the league. The Pelicans must still address the restricted free agency of All-Star forward Brandon Ingram.

As part of the deal, New Orleans is sending the rebuilding Thunder a first-round draft pick in 2023 for Adams as well as veteran players George Hill and Darius Miller.

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