New Orleans and Milwaukee are expanding the Jrue Holiday trade to include more teams and players, including the routing of Steven Adams to the Pelicans, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The deal is an expansion of the Holiday-to-Milwaukee trade that was agreed on earlier in the week. It has evolved into a four-team deal, and sources said it has a lot of moving parts as teams work to finish it.
Adams, 27, is heading to New Orleans in exchange for a protected first-round pick and two future picks, according to sources. The Pelicans picked up a 2023 lottery-protected first-round pick from the Denver Nuggets on draft night for the No. 24 overall selection, RJ Hampton, sources said.
That pick was originally Milwaukee’s and one of three first-rounders New Orleans received for Holiday.
In exchange for Adams, the Oklahoma City Thunder also will receive George Hill, Darius Miller, a 2023 Denver protected first-round pick and second-round picks in 2023 (via Charlotte) and 2024 (via Washington), sources told ESPN.
Under the original deal, Milwaukee would have sent New Orleans a package that included Hills, Eric Bledsoe and three first-round picks (a 2020 first from Indiana and unprotected firsts in 2025 and 2027) in exchange for Holiday, sources said. That version included two first-round pick swaps (in 2024 and 2026).
In addition, the Pelicans would have returned the 60th pick in the 2020 draft, which was acquired in 2019 for Nikola Mirotic, to Milwaukee. To make the trade work, Cleveland would have removed the pick protection for the 2022 first that Milwaukee owes it. The Cavaliers would have also received a future second-round pick from the Bucks.
Adams is in the final year of a contract set to pay him $27.58 million in 2020-21. At 6-foot-11, 265 pounds, he provides the Pelicans with a big body to play center next to Zion Williamson.
Adams averaged 10.9 points and 9.3 rebounds last season for Oklahoma City. As much of a force as Williamson was on the offensive glass last season, Adams adds more on that side of the floor.
While Williamson finished 12th in offensive rebounding percentage (9.3%) among players who played at least 25 minutes per game last season, Adams was second (12.8%), behind only Andre Drummond (12.9%).
Adams doesn’t stretch the floor next to Williamson, as he has one made 3-pointer in his career — although that did come against New Orleans on Feb. 13, 2020, in his new home at the Smoothie King Center. Adams does, however, bring with him the fourth-highest field goal percentage (58.9%) in NBA history.