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Adams value at OKC goes sky high 12 Aug 2013

The Oklahoma City Thunder clearly have big plans for their Kiwi rookie Steven Adams, making him one of the highest paid athletes in New Zealand sport.

The Thunder recently signed Adams to his first contract after picking him No 12 overall in the NBA draft. Though details were not disclosed, leading US hoops websites have Adams listed at a salary of US$2,090,880 (NZ$ 2,600,758) for the 2013-14 season, rising to US$2,184,960 (NZ$2,717,780) for the second of his two guaranteed years.

That's well over the US$1.7m (NZ$2.11) prescribed for the No 12 pick by the NBA's salary scale for rookie contracts - teams are allowed to pay up to 20 per cent over the mandated amount - and a strong indication of how the Thunder feel about their young centre.

Adams' rookie deal has two guaranteed years and then two option years which could see the New Zealander's salary top the US$3m mark by his fourth season.

The outstanding contract, which makes Adams the Thunder's ninth highest paid player on their roster (superstar Kevin Durant will make US$17.8m this season and Russell Westbrook nearly US$14.7m) indicates just how highly valued he is at Oklahoma City.

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Marc Hinton - Fairfax Media

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