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Scrutinised Adams in winning touch for OKC

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/10/2016

New Zealand centre Steven Adams has put speculation about a whopping NBA deal to one side with an impressive outing for the victorious Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder made it three wins from three to start the season with a 113-96 home defeat of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Adams contributed 14 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

It continued an impressive start to his fourth season for Adams, who is set to be offered a vastly increased pay deal to stay in Oklahoma City.

Monday is the last day for teams to extend the contract for players entering the final year of their relatively lightweight rookie contracts.

If Adams remains unsigned, he is free to enter free agency at the end of the season.

Several US pundits are predicting Adams will be offered a large, long-term deal by Thunder bosses. The 23-year-old is emerging as one of the better centres in the NBA and an important figure for a Thunder side who lost key scorer Kevin Durant during the off-season.

Reports says Adams could command a contract worth around $US100 million ($NZ140 million) across four seasons.

That sort of deal would make Adams one of the highest-paid centres in the NBA and comfortably New Zealand's best-rewarded sportsman.

He is averaging nearly 14 points per game so far this season and is contributing well in other areas.

Guard Russell Westbrook was once again the Thunder standout against the Lakers, scoring 33 points to follow his 51-point triple-double in Saturday's win over the Phoenix Suns.

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