New Orleans Pelicans: Analyzing the Steven Adams addition

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 14: Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder warms up against the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 14: Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder warms up against the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Adding Steven Adams to the New Orleans Pelicans changes their outlook.

The New Orleans Pelicans already made one big splash, sending Jrue Holiday to the Milwaukee Bucks, and now they’ve made another, trading three picks for center Steven Adams.

The news came out late last night, as Adrian Wojnarowski woke everyone up with this bomb:

So the Pelicans moved one of their many first-round picks, the 2023 pick they got from Denver on draft night, and two second-rounders for Steven Adams, one of the best big men in the game. Veterans George Hill and Darius Miller were also reportedly in the trade.

Anyone who was wondering why the Pelicans were gathering so many picks on draft night, here is your answer. Draft picks are the currency of the NBA, especially when you are dealing with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who now have more picks than the rest of the league combined.

New Orleans Pelicans: Adding Steven Adams changes the ceiling of the team

The Pelicans filled arguably their biggest hole by adding Adams, as they only had one center on the roster, 20-year-old Jaxson Hayes, who now gets another year to develop as a backup.

The Adams addition must be analyzed from three perspectives, how he fits the team now and long-term, the money and what he does for the Pelicans’ chances at the playoffs.

Steven Adams’ fit on the Pelicans

The Pelicans were near the bottom of the NBA In points in the paint allowed, giving up more than 52 a game.

Adams is one of the better center defenders in the NBA, so those days should be over. Adams not only blocks 1.1 shots per game but averages nearly a steal a game. Most importantly, he’s a big body who can muscle just about anyone in the league, which is huge for a Pels team that got pushed around most of last season.

Adams will improve the Pelicans’ defensive rebounding, helping them to close out possessions, which is something they had a hard time doing last season.

Adams is also a plus offensive rebounder, something the Pelicans were already very good at. He and Zion Williamson are going to be a handful in the lane for anyone.

Related Story. 5 free agents to keep an eye on for the Pelicans. light

The Pelicans now have two of the top finishers at the rim, as both Zion and Adams shoot a ridiculous percentage in the paint.

Adams is a screen setter who should be able to help facilitate movement in Stan Van Gundy’s offense. He can initiate offense himself at times and is a good passer for his size, working from the top of the key.

Adams is not a floor spacer with shooting, but his screens and ability to pass make up for it. He is the tough, rim protector that the Pelicans needed, and there weren’t too many better fits in the NBA.

Forget about 3-point shooting, there are plenty of ways to space the floor and Adams brings way more to the table than he takes away.

But what about the money?