Steven Adams — traded from New Orleans as part of the Jrue Holiday trade — was entering the final year of his contract at $27.5 million. That’s a lot for a big man who is not also an elite shot creator or Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Adams is not those things but is a quality big man on both ends of the court.
And the Pelican want to keep Adams around, so they have agreed to a two-year extension with him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN.
That extension is about $10 million less a year than he will make in 2020-21, but it also is in line with what a good starting center should make. From Adams’ perspective, having seen the brutal market for centers around the league, he realizes this is a good payday and jumped at it.
Adams will start and should do a lot of the dirty work inside that allows Zion Williamson to do what he does as the four. Adams also brings a strong professional culture to the locker room. The athletic and promising but still raw Jaxson Hayes will back Adams up, and now he can develop with less pressure. Willy Hernangomez also is in the mix looking for minutes. It’s a strong center rotation.