Miami Heat, NBA Free Agency

Does Bam Adebayo’s new max deal mean the Heat can’t sign Giannis?

Bam Adebayo is resigning with Miami, but does that take them out of the Giannis chase?

The Miami Heat proved that a core of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and complimentary shooters like Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro is deep enough to push them to the NBA Finals last year. While the Heat have been mentioned as a landing spot for Giannis Antteokpunmpo, as some believe that they need his superstar quotient in order to sustain their success, Miami appears to be shying away from that, choosing instead to lock up Adebayo and keep the nucleus intact.

Shams Charania is reporting that the Heat have agreed to a huge five-year, $163 million contract extension with their star big man. While Pat Riley has to love seeing one of his draft picks blossom into a star, there is a chance that doing this takes them out of the Giannis Antetokounmpo race if he doesn’t sign a supermax deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Even if they don’t get Giannis, Bam Adebayo is still an elite big man on both sides of the ball

Adebayo was a solid role player for his first two seasons, but he made the leap to the elite tier after making an All-Star team while averaging 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. Adebayo’s ability to run the floor, dominate in the paint, and distribute the ball proved lethal against a Boston Celtics team that struggled to match his presence in the post. Unfortunately, injuries limited his effectiveness in the Finals.

Unless one of either Butler or Bam gets traded to take on Giannis and the eye-watering contract that he will sign either this offseason or next, it appears as though Giannis will not be coming down to South Beach. There are a few other possibilities but the level of complexity would be extremely high.

As nice as Giannis would be, Miami already has evidence that a team led by Butler and Bam is capable of making the NBA Finals. If Adebayo’s upward ascension continues, it should surprise absolutely no one if the Heat win the East again.

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