Thunder news: Veteran center Steven Adams is expected to play an even bigger role with the Oklahoma City Thunder now that the team’s longtime star Russell Westbrook is gone.
Westbrook was traded by the Thunder to the Houston Rockets a couple of months ago in exchange for Chris Paul. OKC, who failed to win a championship despite previously drafting three NBA MVPs, has officially hit the reset button.
Adams, who has been with the Thunder since he entered the league in 2013, understands that the team has no choice but to keep going after the Westbrook trade.
“Someone was there, and now they’re not. As morbid as this may sound, [it is] similar to someone passing away. But not like that. But you get the gist.You carry on, because life goes on, but little things come up, like a parking spot.”
Adams was there when the Thunder attempted to build a superteam following Kevin Durant’s departure from the team back in 2016. OKC successfully traded for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony that year, but things didn’t go the way they expected, as the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs twice over the last two years.
This prompted OKC’s front office to blow the roster up and start over, and even Adams’ future with the team seems uncertain. At 26 years old, the Thunder can trade him this season in order to acquire young talent and draft picks which will help their rebuild.
But Adams isn’t thinking about anything other than helping the Thunder be competitive. Last season, he averaged 13.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists while shooting an impressive 59 percent from the field, but now that Westbrook is no longer with the team, fans are expecting those numbers to go up, especially since Adams will still be playing alongside a solid point guard in CP3.
Adams said he now has to remind himself constantly that he’ll need to rebound more this season, something that he wasn’t able to do over the past couple of years because Westbrook was usually there to collect the boards. But things are different now. If the Thunder would want to make the playoffs, everyone on the roster will need to step up.
Adams knows this, and he’s already gearing up for one of the most important seasons of his career.
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