Report: Steven Adams Agrees to $35M Pelicans Contract Extension as Part of Trade

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2020

Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams smiles during warmups for Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets , Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Mike Ehrmann/Associated Press

Zion Williamson will reportedly have a new frontcourt mate for the immediate future.

According to ESPN's Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski, the New Orleans Pelicans signed big man Steven Adams to a two-year, $35 million contract extension after acquiring him via trade.

This comes after Wojnarowski reported the Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks expanded their trade that sent Jrue Holiday to the latter and included the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder in a four-team deal. Adams coming to the Pelicans was part of that move.

New Orleans has a young core with Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball as the focal points, so Adams will provide a veteran presence down low who can help it challenge for a playoff spot.

He averaged 10.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game last season as a double-double threat every time he stepped on the floor.

Adams is also a solid interior defender who held opponents to 7.6 percent worse shooting within six feet of the basket than their normal averages last season, per NBA.com. If he is playing alongside Williamson, he can defend the opponent's best big and free the Duke product up to dominate on the other end.

As for the extension, Lowe reported it runs through the 2022-23 campaign and is fully guaranteed.

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That means he figures to be around for multiple seasons, which should help the young players grow more comfortable with his game as New Orleans attempts to turn the corner as a contender in the loaded Western Conference.

A crunch-time rotation of Ball, Eric Bledsoe, JJ Redick, Josh Hart, Ingram, Williamson and Adams could help it do just that.