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Pelicans sign Steven Adams to 2-year, $35 million extension

Pelicans, Steven Adams

As part of their trade deal, the New Orleans Pelicans have given Steven Adams a two-year, $35 million extension, per Zach Lowe of ESPN.

Adams’ departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Pelicans was part of a four-team trade that also involved the Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks.

The deal is fully guaranteed, but it is a significant dip from Steven Adams’ current salary worth $27.5 million a year.

Initially, the trade involved guard Jrue Holiday heading to the Bucks. However, it has since expanded with more players and assets. The teams set up the intricate details of the trade last week, with the Pelicans also getting Eric Bledsoe from the trade.

According to recent reports, the Pelicans have been interested in Steven Adams since the 2019 offseason. To recall, the Thunder traded Russell Westbrook and Paul George away during that summer, and NOLA was apparently looking to transact with OKC as well.

Adams will join a young Pelicans core headlined by Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram—the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year. In 2019-20, New Orleans placed 13th in the West, locking in 30 wins out of 72 games.

For his part, Adams averaged 10.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists across 26.7 minutes in 63 games. He was instrumental in helping a seemingly rebuilding Thunder squad qualify for the playoffs. Praised by NBA players as the strongest man in the league, Adams will likely anchor the Pelicans’ defense as part of the starting five.

Aside from Adams and Bledsoe. the young and rising team also welcomed a new man on the sidelines in Stan Van Gundy, who replaced Alvin Gentry as the Pelicans’ head coach.