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Oklahoma City Thunder selects Pittsburgh's Steven Adams with 12th pick

OKC adds Colorado's Andre Roberson later in first round, takes Spain's Alex Abrines in second round.
By John Rohde Published: June 27, 2013

Asked what he thought of that scenario, Adams momentarily drew a blank.

“Playing in Tulsa? … Oh, sorry. Yeah, yeah, yeah. My bad,” Adams said. “No, I don’t mind. Either way. I’m just committed to the coaches and just making sure I do whatever they say. If they feel I’m ready to be a Thunder, then that will work. If they don’t and I’m going to Tulsa, that’s just how it is.”

Adams worked out for the Thunder in early June. Asked if he envisioned being selected on draft night by OKC, Adams said: “To a certain degree I did, but it was actually what I was hoping for, just because I kind of fell in love with the place.

“It’s a really big honor, to be honest with you, to wear the jersey.”

Though Roberson is 6-foot-7 and 206 pounds, he excels defensively and ranked second nationally in conference rebounding (11.2) last season.

Roberson (pronounced ROB-er-son) was selected as the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of The Year and was a first-team all-conference pick. He left the Buffaloes after his junior season and was just 10 rebounds short of becoming the school’s all-time leader (1,055).

Presti and Weaver said they were allured by Roberson constant movement on the court and his ability to defend multiple positions.

Roberson is the only CU player with 1,000 points and rebounds, 150 blocks and steals, and 100 assists in his career. He also was the first player in school history to lead the team in rebounding, blocked shots and steals for three consecutive seasons.

The modest rookie salary scale will help the Thunder’s payroll stay under the punitive luxury tax threshold. OKC has $64.8 million in guaranteed salary to nine players for the 2013-14 season, which is well above next season’s projected team salary cap of $58.4 million.

In order to avoid tax penalties next season, the Thunder’s payroll must stay below the projected threshold of $71.6 million.

Under the league’s rookie salary scale, the most Adams can make next season is $2.09 million while Roberson’s max is $1.11 million.

The Thunder has three centers under contract. Starter Kendrick Perkins has roughly $18.5 million and two years left on his deal; Hasheem Thabeet will earn $1.2 million if he makes the roster and Daniel Orton will earn $916,099 if he makes the roster.