Atlanta Hawks interested in Oklahoma City Thunder’s Steven Adams

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images /

The Atlanta Hawks are rumored to be eyeing Oklahoma City Thunder center, Steven Adams.

On December 21, The Athletic‘s Chris Kirschner reported that Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder is “someone who has been discussed by the Hawks.”

A potential trade for Adams could be very beneficial for both clubs. The Hawks have been in the lottery for a few seasons and should look to start playing competitive basketball again, whereas the Thunder have been contending since the early 2010s. Now that they’ve traded Paul George and Russell Westbrook, the team would be best suited if they let Shai Gilgeous-Alexander get plenty of minutes as they harvest lottery picks.

What would a potential Steven Adams trade look like? Well, over the summer, the Hawks picked up a number of lucrative expiring contracts tied to unproductive players. To get the Thunder to bite, Atlanta should offer one of those expiring deals, a young player, and draft considerations.

Here, the Oklahoma City Thunder do a number of things to help themselves. First, they gain young and future assets. DeAndre’ Bembry has been inconsistent in his four NBA season, but he has the occasional hot streak that reminds everyone why he is in the league. The 2022 second round pick could really land anywhere. It’s difficult to predict where Atlanta will be in the standings in three years.

Second, OKC takes on a shorter contract. Chandler Parsons’ deal expires in the summer of 2020, while Adams’ contract comes to an end the following summer, in 2021.

Third, it makes them worse. While teams can’t publicly admit to tanking without the league levying heavy fines on them, the Thunder probably would prefer to have a 2020 lottery pick over making the playoffs as the eight seed and getting swept in the first round.

If this package isn’t enough to convince Sam Presti and the Thunder, the Hawks could throw in an additional second round pick, or maybe swap out any seconds for a top-20 protected first round pick.

The Hawks would be the immediate winners of this deal, however. Adams’ presence in the paint would be huge for the Hawks. The New Zealand native averages 3.3 offensive rebounds per game, besting anyone on Atlanta’s current roster. Not to mention, Adams’ effective screens would make for a dynamic pick-and-roll with Trae Young.

Adams also would help the team on the defensive end. There are currently no players in the Hawks frontcourt that excel on the defensive end of the floor. Adams would be able to meet and contest opponents at the rim, as well as make enemies think twice before driving into the paint.

With Adams filling the center hole, there would be no reason for John Collins to payer the five anymore. At 6’9, Collins is taller than the vast majority of humans, but at the highest levels of competition in basketball, he is an undersized center. Collins isn’t the best shooter, nor defender, so he can be a liability at the five, but with Adams banging down low instead, the Wake Forest alumnus could focus on honing in his skills as a power forward.

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This is all just a rumor. Steven Adams’ name might’ve just come up once among Hawks executives in passing and there might not be any meat to this at all, or perhaps the Hawks are secretly on a tight pursuit of the Pitt product. Only time will tell