Rockets leadership reacts to Steven Adams trade acquisition

Late Thursday night, the Rockets made official their reported trade agreement to acquire Memphis center Steven Adams. To compensate the Grizzlies and to match salaries, Houston is sending three second-round draft assets and the expiring contract of Victor Oladipo.

The bruising 6-foot-11 big man is out for the 2023-24 season after undergoing knee surgery last October. However, Adams is expected to make a healthy return for the 2024-25 season, in which he will be relied upon as a valuable backup to Alperen Sengun.

On Friday, with the news now official, team personnel were approved to comment on the deal. Beyond head coach Ime Udoka, one obvious subject of expertise is veteran forward Dillon Brooks, who started alongside Adams with the Grizzlies for multiple years on the frontcourt of a Western Conference contender.

With that in mind, here’s what leaders affiliated with the organization had to say about Adams on Friday, which is when the Rockets were prepping for that night’s game versus Toronto.

Now 30 years old, Adams averaged 8.6 points (59.7% FG) and 11.5 rebounds as the starting center in Memphis last season.

Rockets’ trade announcement

From Rockets PR:

Adams (6-11, 265) was originally the No. 12 overall pick by Oklahoma City in the 2013 NBA draft and is in his 11th season. In 706 career games with 641 starts, he is averaging 9.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.96 blocks in 26.8 minutes per game while shooting 59.7% from the floor. Adams has also appeared in 66 career playoff games.

Last season for Memphis, Adams averaged 8.6 points, a career-high 11.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.10 blocks in 27.0 minutes. He became the second player in NBA history (Andre Drummond in 2020-21) to have averaged at least 8.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while playing fewer than 28.0 minutes per game in a single season.

The New Zealand native led the NBA in offensive rebounding in each of the past two seasons (5.1 per in 2022-23 and 4.6 in 2021-22) and is averaging a league-best 4.5 offensive rebounds per game going back to 2017-18. He has the third-most offensive boards (2,599) among active players and ranks ninth in NBA history in offensive rebounds per 36 minutes played (4.9 per) among players with at least 350 games played.

Dillon Brooks on talks with Steven Adams

Via Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle:

Oh yeah, when I heard we were about to trade for him, I messaged him right away saying, ‘Is there any good news coming?’ He’s a great teammate, great friend, has a lot of knowledge on life and on basketball. I can’t wait for him to get down here.

He was super excited. I told him, Houston is a great place. He’ll love it. He asked me about Ime. Told him, Ime’s a players’ coach. Everything is for the players. That’s what he’s really about because he has his own routine, his own stuff to get himself ready. He’s got a lot to teach.

Dillon Brooks on Steven Adams as a player

Via Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle:

There’s a physicality that we haven’t had at that post. He has so much knowledge on rebounding on how to defend guys he’s been in the league for so long, and then his energy, he has a different type of energy. A great teammate to be around, and he has an understanding of the game.

Selfless, will do anything that the coaches ask for. And listens to each one of the players he tries to better. The guards, because he has great knowledge of how to play with Russ [Westbrook], how to play with different guys, Ja [Morant]. So, you know, it’d be a great thing for Jalen [Green] and Fred [VanVleet]. One of the best screeners in the NBA. Guys get stuck on his screen. So, opens up a lot for us as shooters and players. Anything that’s not in the statistics, he does that at the highest level.

You’ve got to put two guys on him to really stop him from getting offensive rebounds. So, that’s the best times where I can sneak a rebound or anybody else can come in and sneak rebounds. Every team has to emphasize that you don’t want him to get rebounds because he gets extra possessions for ultimately our team.

I’m just excited that he’s on our team. He’s going to bring a different physicality, a different mindset to our team.

Dillon Brooks on the new Rockets

Via Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle:

We’re creating something now that’s going to be better for the fans, better for the city. I’m glad I’m here, even though I had to wait seven years. This is a whole family. Happy to be here, happy to be a part of it, happy to be a Rocket.

Video: Dillon Brooks and Ime Udoka on Steven Adams

Ime Udoka on what Steven Adams brings

When Steven Adams will join Rockets

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire