NBA Rumors: Latest on Steven Adams Trade, Dion Waiters' Outlook with Heat

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams during an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz ended the NBA's trade drought with a swap of Jordan Clarkson and Dante Exum, and more deals should be on the horizon.

Veteran center Steven Adams is a name to watch.

According to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, the Atlanta Hawks are interested in the Oklahoma City Thunder big man.

"He is someone who has been discussed by the Hawks, according to a source inside the organization," Kirschner said.

The connection is sensible, given Adams' skill set is more of a classic center than a new-era floor-stretching player. Despite logging six fewer minutes per game this season, he's averaging 11.5 points with career-best marks of 9.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

Atlanta could pair him with forward John Collins, and Adams' pick-and-roll experience with Russell Westbrook surely would translate to running the sets alongside Trae Young.

But, as with any potential deal, it all depends on the other team's demands. Oklahoma City surely wants a long-term piece in exchange for a starting center, but Adams' contract complicates the discussions. He's due $25.8 million this season and $27.5 million next year, according to HoopsHype.

The Hawks have plenty of promising young players, so they're looking to build a contender without sacrificing those pieces.

One important thing in Atlanta's favor is the team's collection of expiring contracts in Chandler Parsons, Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe. While they're not coveted players by any means, a team looking to shed an expensive salarysuch as Oklahoma City could with Adamscan easily find the right contract in Atlanta.

The Thunder may decide to keep Adams, so expectations should be tempered. Yet since the Hawks are one of few franchises with salary-matching ability and have draft capital to spare, they hold important leverage for trade talks.

Dion Waiters, on the other hand, has nothing of the sort.

The season hasn't even reached the halfway points, and the Miami Heat have already suspended him three times for a total of 17 games. The most recent discipline was a six-game suspension, which ended after Miami's win Monday against Utah.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Miami has suspended Dion Waiters again for “failure to adhere to team policies, violation of team rules and continued insubordination,” team says. He can return after Heat’s game on Dec. 23.

However, that doesn't mean he's about to play; Waiters hasn't appeared in a game this season, and it's unlikely to change.

According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, there is "no resolution in sight" for Waiters and his future with the Heat.

"The Waiters contract is as close to untradeable that I have ever seen in the NBA," an anonymous executive said, per Marks.

Waiters is due $12.1 million this season and $12.65 million in 2020-21, according to HoopsHype. There is no team willing to absorb that contract with another year remaining, and Miami already has a clogged salary sheet. The Heat have no interest in taking back long-term money in a trade, either.

The future is both simple and unfortunate: Short of a buyout, he'll continue sitting and hoping for a chance somewhere else.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.