Steven Adams will be rocking a new NBA jersey the next time he takes the court.
Today, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Adams was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Houston Rockets for former All-Star Victor Oladipo and three second-round draft picks.
Wherever Steve has played, he has been a fan favourite because of his laid-back, true blue Kiwi attitude. You can tell from Memphis fans' reactions that they are feeling the loss.
"He embraced the team and was always a class act," one person wrote. "I'm not sad that it’s over, I’m happy that it happened."
"I don't even know what to say or think right now," said another. "Man. This hurts. What a time it was with Steven Adams."
"Thankful for his time in Memphis," said Kel Wright, the Grizzlies sideline reporter, sharing her favourite interview with Steve.
Due to battling a knee injury, the Big Kiwi won't suit up for his new team until at least next season.
"Adams is expected to be recovered from knee surgery that cost him the entire 2023-2024 season," Wojnarowski added.
"The Rockets front office believes Adams brings the toughness and leadership that coach Ime Udoka craves for his team and that he still can impact the game in a limited role behind [Rockets starting centre, Alperen] Sengun."
Despite being one of their most valuable players when on the court, the Grizzlies saw Adams as holding down their freedom to acquire new players in the future.
"Grizzlies are creating more salary flexibility and draft assets around a 2024 offseason where they'll get a chance at a high lottery pick and a chance to fortify a contender around Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane," Wojnarowski tweeted.
By swapping Adams for Oladipo, who will no longer be under contract at the end of the season, the team has freed up around US$12 million from their cap.
What they have lost though, is the New Zealand fanbase.