OK-C ya later: Steven Adams' time at Thunder ends as NBA trade confirmed

Steven Adams' time at the Oklahoma City Thunder has officially come to an end with the Kiwi centre's trade to the New Orleans Pelicans confirmed today.

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The Kiwi NBA star has been traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he has spent his entire career so far. Source: Breakfast

Word of Adams' departure was first reported last week by respected NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski but OKC officials didn't confirm the move until a few hours ago.

"Thanks, mate," the team wrote on its Twitter page, alongside a "hang loose" emoji and a photo of Adama looking downcast. 

In a press release, Sam Presti, the team's executive vice president and general manager, offered praise for the big Kiwi. 

“Steven Adams will hold a special place in our organisational legacy,” he said. “On and off the floor, Steven contributed to our teams and community in unique ways and his place in Thunder history is secured.”

Adams has spent his entire NBA career with the Thunder after being selected 12th overall by the organisation in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Since his selection, Adams has gone on to carve out a reputation as one of the NBA's toughest on-court but a loveable Kiwi full of humour and stoicism off it, making him a fan favourite in Oklahoma.

Adams has been voted the NBA's toughest player three times in the annual GM survey but his wit and charm in interviews with media - along with his laid back persona and fashion sense - is just as admired.

The 27-year-old departs the Thunder featuring in the top five of all five main statistics for career totals; 5,191 points [fourth], 4,029 rebounds [third], 615 assists [fifth], 469 steals [third] and 531 blocks [third]. He is also fourth overall in minutes played, having spent 14,207 minutes on the floor in an OKC jersey.

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The Kiwi centre is reported to be leaving Oklahoma City for New Orleans. Source: 1 Sport

However, that will all change next season with Adams now taking his 6'11" frame and talents to Louisiana where he will join a new-look Pelicans outfit.

The Pelicans are considered a team looking to contend for an NBA title within the next few years, having accrued young stars such as 2019 No.1 draft pick Zion Williamson and this season's Most Improved Player and one-time all star Brandon Ingram.

Adams will likely slot straight into the starting five alongside Williamson and Ingram for New Orleans when the new NBA season starts next season with the Pelicans' depth at centre lacking.

Adams' future beyond 2021 is uncertain though with the Pelicans only picking up the final season of his four-year $142 million contract.