By Kurt Voigt
The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City went with some much-needed size with its first pick of the NBA draft.
The Thunder selected Pittsburgh center Steven Adams with the 12th pick on Thursday night, hoping to add a complementary piece to play alongside stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
The 7-foot Adams played just one season for the Panthers, averaging 7.2 points and 6.3 points per game while being named to the Big East All-Rookie Team.
The Thunder lost in the NBA Finals last year to Miami and had the best record in the Western Conference this season, finishing 60-22. However, Westbrook injured his right knee in a first-round win over Houston, and Oklahoma City was ousted in the second round by Memphis.
Oklahoma City had three of the first 32 picks in the draft, with No. 29 and 32 to go along with the Adams’ pick.
Oklahoma City caused the biggest stir of the offseason a year ago, trading shooting guard James Harden to Houston for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick.
The Thunder used the first of those first-round picks on Adams, who averaged just 23.4 minutes per game as a freshman at Pittsburgh. The New Zealand native attended high school in Massachusetts and was a top recruit for the Panthers before deciding to leave college after just one season.
Adams set the Pittsburgh school record for field goal percentage in his one season, connecting on 100 of 175 shots (57.1 percent) last season. He had career-highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds against Bethune-Cookman and had 13 points and 11 rebounds in the opening round of the NCAA tournament against Wichita State.
The Thunder took Archie Goodwin with the 29th pick and Spanish guard Alex Abrines with the 32nd overall pick.
Reports, however, indicate Goodwin will be traded — with Oklahoma City receiving Colorado forward Andre Roberson in return.
The 6-foot-6 Abrines averaged 3.4 points and 1.1 rebounds in 11 minutes per game for F.C. Barcelona.
At the start of the night, Anthony Bennett became the first Canadian No. 1 overall pick, and Nerlens Noel tumbled out of the top five and right into a trade in a surprising start to an unsettled NBA draft.
One of the favorites to be taken first Thursday night, Noel fell to No. 6, where the New Orleans Pelicans took him and then dealt his rights to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package headlined by All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, according to a person familiar with the details.
The Cleveland Cavaliers started things by passing on centers Noel and Alex Len, who went to Phoenix at No. 5, in favor Bennett, the UNLV freshman forward who starred for Canada’s junior national teams.