New Zealander Steven Adams, a centre for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA, has just signed a monster deal to stay with the team. The Thunder no doubt had some money to spend after superstar forward Kevin Durant defected to the Golden State Warriors.
Reportedly, Adams received a four-year deal worth $139 million NZD.
The Thunder is acting now in order to keep Adams out of the free-agent market following this season. Just 23, Adams would seem to figure prominently in Oklahoma City’s post-Kevin Durant era.
Early in the 2016 – 2017 NBA regular season, Adams is contributing to a team that has won consistently thus far and he was also a major reason for the team making it to the NBA Western Conference Finals last season.
The new contract will have Adams atop the list of earners amongst New Zealand athletes, well ahead of America’s Cup sailor Russell Coutts, West Ham defender Winston Reid and Indy Car driver Scott Dixon.
The rise of Adams in the NBA has been rapid. He was drafted by the Thunder in the 12th round of the NBA draft two years ago, a spot where simply making the club, even as a reserve, if far from a foregone conclusion.