Steven Adams trade: Pelicans acquiring big man from Thunder as part of multi-team deal, per report

Steven Adams trade: Pelicans acquiring big man from Thunder as part of multi-team deal, per report

The New Orleans Pelicans are acquiring Steven Adams from the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. The Pelicans lost incumbent starting center Derrick Favors to the Utah Jazz in free agency earlier Friday, and have since found a replacement. The deal will technically be folded into the Jrue Holiday blockbuster, as well as a draft night trade between the Pelicans and Nuggets.

Hampton, whom they took with a pick originally from Milwaukee. The Nuggets sent a protected future first-round pick to the Pelicans in exchange for the draft rights to R.J. That future first-rounder, and a pair of second rounder, are going to the Thunder, according to ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski.

He has only one year left on his contract, however, and that opens the door for the Pelicans to promote Hayes and let Adams walk if Hayes earns the long-term job. If not? Adams will presumably start for the Pelicans ahead of 2019 lottery pick Jaxson Hayes, who is still only 20 years old and quite raw. The Pelicans will have full Bird Rights on Adams, and therefore, the ability to bring him back above the salary cap.

Meanwhile, the Thunder took Al Horford's contract in the first week. He advanced to power in Philadelphia last season, but the experiment proved a failure. The Thunder apparently planned to play him at center, which made Adams expandable. He took additional draft capital for an expiring contract, which he did not plan to maintain, is the cherry on top. Thunder continues to stock pip at an unprecedented rate.

Adams has spent his entire career with the Thunder. Now that he's gone, the Thunder can truly kick off this new era.  He was the last remaining part of the James Harden trade still on Oklahoma City's roster. It will be quite some time before we see the finished product, but the rebuild is in full swing in Oklahoma City.

The New Orleans Pelicans are expanding their original trade agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks and Steven Adams is expected to be their new starting center on opening night.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported just before midnight that Adams is headed to New Orleans, and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that while the deal is not yet finalized, a fourth team may also be included.