The Oklahoma City Thunder are headed in a new direction with the exit of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors. They locked up Russell Westbrook on a 3-year $85 million contract back in August of 2016. Now, Thunder GM Sam Presti is trying to solidify the core around his MVP candidate.
Adams, 23, is one of the best young big men in the NBA. A $100+ million contract is already at or near his current playing level, especially considering the new salary cap and the extensions and signings garnered by competition over the summer of 2016.
Oladipo is on the cusp to be certain. After going No. 2 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, Oladipo was part of the trade from the Orlando Magic that sent Serge Ibaka to central Florida. His game is still developing, but given the projected length of a contract for him and his continued emergence, both Oladipo and Stevens will be nice pieces to try and keep Westbrook in OKC.
Both extensions are no-brainers for the Thunder, who desperately need to stay relevant in a Western Conference that will soon rise to a level of parity similar to what we saw a couple years ago. Westbrook doesn’t want to have to do it by himself against a stacked conference, and signing Adams and Oladipo is a good start.