I don't see why it wouldn't. I've used the mSATA to SATA adapters in the past and they work just fine. You won't get the performance of an actual NVME drive, but the adapters typically don't slow the SSD down, so it should be as fast as it's able to be.
I would avoid the headache of an adapter since the cost of a new 120GB SSD is dirt cheap. Is the WD 4GB drive one of those extra fat 2.5" drives? If it's larger than 9mm it will not fit.
There are two ways that you can accomplish this:
- Using a compatible mSATA-to-M.2 adapter. To be compatible, it must support M.2 Type M or B+M keying and it must fit within the space available in the BN NUC for M.2 adapters. I only found two examples of an adapter that would appear to meet the first (M.2 keying) requirement: Amazon.com: SMAKN mSATA SSD to B key M.2 Adapter and Amazon.com: mSATA SSD to M.2 B Key Adapter. By my eye, however, neither of these adapters will fit in a BN NUC; it looks like the auxiliary SATA Data and Power cable headers on the board are simply too close to the M.2 socket and will interfere with the footprint of these adapters.
- If you purchase the 'H' Model (NUC7i3BNH) instead of the 'K' model (NUC7i3BNK), it provides a bay for a 2.5" SATA III SSD/HDD/SSHD. You could purchase a mSATA-to-SATA adapter that will fit into this 2.5" bay. Here is an example of such an adapter: Amazon.com: Syba mSATA SSD to 2.5-Inch SATA Adapter. I have purchased and used one of these adapters myself and it works great.
From a performance perspective, these two options, because they both rely on a SATA III interface, would have roughly equal performance. As Jason has said, you obviously cannot come close to the performance of an NVMe SSD going this route.
I would be remiss if I didn't also point out that you do have other choices (albeit more expensive if you already have the mSATA SSD). These include using a M.2 NVMe SSD, a M.2 SATA SSD or a 2.5" SATA SSD.
Hope this answers the query,