According to highly-reputable ESPN reports, the Atlanta Hawks have shifted their previous interest in Andre Drummond and are now targeting Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Although there was initial suggestions a deal could be finalised in recent weeks, Adrian Wojnarowski revealed talks between the Hawks (13-37) and Detroit Pistons (18-33) have since “lost momentum”, so they have instead ventured elsewhere to focus on earning a center before this week’s deadline.
Houston Rockets big Clint Capela is also a target – with the Western Conference contenders prepared to let him go for the right package. Houston want a wing who can help supplement their superstar backcourt of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, so trading Capela could see them earn both that and a serviceable center replacement.
OKC (30-20) are currently seventh in the West, ahead of Memphis Grizzlies (24-25), Portland Trail Blazers (23-27) and San Antonio Spurs (22-26).
Despite low expectations for this season – their first without All-Stars Paul George and franchise star Westbrook – they have impressed with Chris Paul leading by example and Shai-Gilgeous Alexander shining in his second-year.
Adams’ proposed departure could kickstart OKC rebuild
A rebuild remains likely, as they don’t harbour serious title plans and trading Adams would jump-start the process. The 26-year-old is averaging 10.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and a career-high 2.6 assists per game this term on 60% FG in his lowest minutes total sice the 15-16 campaign (26.7 MPG).
However, he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020-21 season and is still owed $27.5m next term. Capela’s deal is similarly expensive – $51.3m over the next three seasons – though he’s a year younger and averaging better stats than Adams.
Elsewhere from an OKC perspective: Miami has expressed interest in Danilo Gallinari, while the Knicks are reportedly eager to sign guard Dennis Schroder, who is said to be in the running for Sixth Man of the Year.