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Steven Adams' payday - What the experts think

Leading basketball analysts have largely supported the contract extension reached between Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James Herbert from CBS Sports says Adams is one of the best young big men in the league, and is primed for a breakout season.

"Adams' ascendance has been swift and undeniable. In the playoffs last season, he showed the world what the Thunder had known for some time: Adams will do whatever the team asks of him. While not a great shot blocker, Adams makes up for it with his smart team defense and quickness when guarding smaller players and containing pick-and-rolls. On the other end, Adams is one of the best in the league at finishing out of pick-and-roll situations."

Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders notes that Adams is only just scratching the surface of what his offensive game might continue to develop into.

"One of the more refreshing things about Adams is he rarely plays outside of himself or beyond his abilities. He knows his role and fills it perfectly."

Jesus Gomez of SB Nation argues that Adams has evolved into one of the best starting centers in the league.

"Adams' per-game numbers are not terribly impressive but he's one of the best defensive players in the league and a rugged rebounder who makes life hell for opponents thanks to his physicality. He's also emerged as a great finisher around the rim, especially in the pick and roll, where his chemistry with Russell Westbrook is undeniable.

"If he can improve his poor free throw shooting and continue to grow at a steady pace as a player, he will more than earn his contract. Every team needs a defensive anchor and Adams can play that role."

Matthew Rothstein of Dime Magazine argues that it is the right move for Oklahoma City.

"Adams came to the game relatively late in his life, and yet he's already developed wonderful hand-eye coordination and positioning skills at age 23. He's improving offensively, though he may never have an above-average jumper, and head coach Billy Donovan trusts Adams to guard power forwards when the slow-footed Enes Kanter is in the lineup.

"Based on his improvement over the last year, the Thunder should be confident he can fulfill all those requirements, which means they have to lock him up."

Dan Feldman of NBC Sports writes that Adams is worth his contract, but the only question is whether the Thunder were wise to extend him at this point.

"Adams has already proven himself a valued team member in Oklahoma City. He has nice pick-and-roll chemistry with Russell Westbrook, and he's willing to do the dirty work defensively and on the glass. At his age, he should remain productive through the next four years and maybe even improve.

Though it's always great to keep a player of Adams' caliber around, this will probably hurt the Thunder's cap flexibility next summer."

- NZ Herald

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