Steven Adams and RJ Hampton. Photos / Getty and Photosport
Steven Adams is is set to head to New Orleans – and, for a few minutes, it looks like he’s not the only player with New Zealand ties on the deal.
The reported deal – which will see Adams move from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of a four-team trade centered around the Jrue Holiday being trafficked to the Milwaukee Bucks – is, as you might get from the previous pedantic, somewhat complicated.
So even the man who reported on the trade, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, had a little trouble explaining it, leading fans to believe RJ Hampton was part of the deal.
Hampton, who played for the New Zealand Breakers last season as part of the NBL Australia’s Next Stars program, was picked this week by the Denver Nuggets as their 24th pick in the NBA Draft.
The Nuggets got the pick from the Pelicans in exchange for a 2023 lottery-protected first-round pick, and the Pelicans decided to send that 2023 pick to the Thunder, along with two second-round picks, in exchange for Adams.
However, Wojnarowski’s reporting left some desirable clarity, with the words on his tweet leaving many confused.
After another attempt to clear up the confusion, even Hampton began to wonder if she had been trafficked, before finding out that she was living with the Nuggets.
So the short odds of having two players with Kiwi ties in one NBA trade are gone, as Hampton worries.
When the trade is confirmed, Adams will not be New Zealand’s first ever basketball presence in New Orleans, with Sean Marks playing 79 games over two seasons from 2008-2010, when the franchise was known as the New Orleans Hornets. New Zealand Breakers keeper Corey Webster also spent pre-season with the squad in 2015.