Pelicans acquire Adams as final piece of 4-team Holiday deal

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Steven Adams

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Steven Adams plays against the Boston Celtics during an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March, 8, 2020, in Boston. Adams has agreed to a two-year extension with the Pelicans following his trade to New Orleans as part of a four-team deal that also sent guard Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans to Milwaukee. A person familiar with the deal says Adams’ extension is worth $35 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 because financial terms have not been announced. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Veteran 7-foot NBA center Steven Adams has agreed to a two-year extension with the Pelicans following his trade to New Orleans as part of a four-team deal that also sent guard Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans to Milwaukee.

Adams’ extension is for $35 million, said a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial terms have not been announced.

The acquisition of Adams comes after Derrick Favors left New Orleans in free agency for Utah, where he’s spent much of his career. Now the 265-pound Adams, known for his feisty play under the basket and aptitude for setting screens, will be creating room to operate on the offensive end for the likes of wing Brandon Ingram, forward Zion Williamson and guard Lonzo Ball.

Adams is a New Zealand native who has spent all of his seven NBA seasons in Oklahoma City, averaging 9.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, a block and 0.9 steals a game during his career.

The deal, which also sent guard Eric Bledsoe from the Bucks to the Pelicans, additionally provides New Orleans with Milwaukee’s first-round draft choices in 2025 and 2027, along with the right to swap first-rounders with the Bucks in 2024 and 2026.

Oklahoma City gets a future first-round draft pick from Denver; guard George Hill from Milwaukee; and wing player Zylan Cheatham, guard Josh Gray, forward Darius Miller, forward Kenrich Williams, and two second-round draft picks from the Pelicans.

The Bucks acquired the draft rights to Sam Merrill, who was picked 60th overall by New Orleans, as part of the trade, while Denver acquired the draft rights to R.J. Hampton, who was selected 24th overall by Milwaukee on draft night.

Milwaukee also re-signed guard Pat Connaughton to a three-year deal worth nearly $16 million.

Connaughton, 27, averaged 5.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 18.6 minutes while playing in 67 games for the Bucks last season. He originally signed with the Bucks prior to the 2018-19 season. The 2015 second-round pick from Notre Dame has career averages of 4.8 points. 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 283 games with Portland and Milwaukee.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the Sacramento Kings declined to match Atlanta’s four-year, $72 million offer sheet for Bogdan Bogdanovic, who averaged 15.1 points per game last season with the Kings.

He becomes the latest Atlanta addition during a busy offseason for the Hawks, who also added Danilo Gallinari and Rajon Rondo in recent days.

“Bogdan has a great feel for the game, and we expect him to be a great fit for us with his high-level offensive skill set, experience and toughness,” Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk said. “It’s no secret that one of our biggest areas of focus in free agency was adding shooting and quality depth. With Bogdan as part of our incoming group, we feel those are now areas of strength.”

Also, veteran guard Wayne Ellington agreed to terms with the Detroit Pistons, according to Priority Sports. Ellington played 28 games with the Pistons during the 2018-19 season. He averaged 5.1 points a game last season for the New York Knicks.

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AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed.

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