NBA: Kiwi Steven Adams linked with move to New Orleans Pelicans

Kiwi centre Steven Adams' days at Oklahoma City Thunder seem numbered, with a move to New Orleans imminent.

If finalised, the trade would see him team up with young superstar Zion Williamson on a roster receiving a major shake-up during the current off-season.

After seven years with Oklahoma City, Adams' days at the franchise appeared numbered this week, when the Thunder traded for five-time All Star centre Al Horford, as they clean cupboard in a roster rebuild.

Since bowing out to Houston Rockets in the opening round of playoffs last season, OKC have parted company with coach Billy Donovan and star point guard Chris Paul.

Veteran guard Dennis Schroder is headed for Los Angeles Lakers and forward Danillo Gallinari also seems bound for Atlanta Hawks.

Oklahoma City also picked up French centre Vincent Poirier from Boston Celtics this week and secured the rights to seven-foot Serb Aleksej Pukosevski in a draft-day trade, so all signs indicated Adams would be squeezed out sooner, rather than later.

That transaction has moved closer, with the Kiwi poised to join a convoluted multi-team deal that initially involved the Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks, but has been expanded to include OKC, Denver Nuggets and possibly Cleveland Cavaliers.

New Orleans lost superstar centre Anthony Davis to the Lakers last season, but made up for his exit by scooping Williamson with the top draft pick.

After one year at Duke University, the power forward is widely regarded as the future face of the NBA, but struggled with injury through his rookie season, 22.5 points and six rebounds a game, but playing just 24 games, as the Pelicans fell short of the post-season.

Starting big man Derek Favors has agreed to return to Utah Jazz, leaving Adams to compete with second-year five-man Jaxson Hayes and erratic Jahlil Okafor for top billing in the middle.

Other notables on the Pelicans roster include highly touted point guard Lonzo Ball, small forward Brandon Ingram - both part of last year's Lakers trade for Davis - and sharpshooter JJ Redick, one of the NBA's best three-point exponents.

Adams is regarded as one of the league's toughest hombres, but he hasn't provided the offensive spark Thunder fans craved from their centre and his US$25m (NZ$36m) annual salary was seen as a major obstacle to rebuilding a competitive roster.

Under new Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy, his experience and hard-nosed attitude would make him an ideal mentor for Williamson, as he learns the NBA ropes.