Steven Adams' recent woes with Oklahoma City and their exit from the NBA play-offs could see the Kiwi star forced out the door at the Thunder, made a scapegoat for his side's poor showing, according to 1 NEWS Sport's Stephen Stuart.
Adams, 25, struggled in the Thunder's 4-1 playoff series loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, leading to respected NBA analyst Bill Simmons declaring that the Kiwi star could be traded to another side.
Arguably less of a name in the NBA than star teammates Russell Westbrook and Paul George, Adams could be made the fall guy for the Thunder's on-court struggles, with OKC potentially looking at trading him and his US $100 million contract.
Appearing on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, Stuart broke down Adams' recent performances.
"I love the guy, he gives you something different," he said. "But, he was disappointing in the playoffs.
"The expectation is there, his numbers weren't good - he's the scapegoat, he's the third highest paid guy in the team.
"They're not going to get rid of Russell "Greedy" Westbrook are they? Big Stevie's the one in the firing line. But who's going to pick up that big pay packet.
"I hope he survives. The guy is funny on and off the court. I hope he isn't thrown under the bus - gee, you'd need a big bus."