When a team that won 60 games a season ago is returning the bulk of its core players, a rookie big man selected in the draft is usually going to be slated for development duty rather than be pressed into immediate action as part of the regular rotation.
While that’s likely to be true for the Thunder’s Steven Adams, the seven-footer taken with the 12th overall pick in this summer’s draft, the team for now will be keeping him on the senior squad, rather then sending him to the D-League to get some extra reps.
But Brooks said at practice Friday that the team doesn’t really have a plan to send Adams to the D-League, at least right now. Rather they’re going to just play things by ear and see what happens.
“It’s something that we never talked about,” Brooks said of Adams and the D-League. “We just focus on what we do here. If players go down and play in the D-League in Tulsa that decision is made during that time. But right now, I’m not even going that way with any of our guys. We like to have our guys here because they need to understand what we do and how we do it and it’s great for them to have a chemistry with the new guys or the guys trying to make the team.”
It’s worth noting that Brooks was in downplaying mode, trying to keep expectations in check after Adams posted 10 points and 15 rebounds against the Pelicans in preseason action on Thursday.
But preseason or not, Adams looked good and showed signs he might be ready for light NBA minutes. If Brooks believes the same, then Adams won’t be headed to Tulsa anytime soon.