The Heat, however, plan to move forward, at least at the moment, with intentions of maximizing 2021-22 salary cap space. Without an offer, or without accepting such an offer, Adebayo would become a restricted free agent in the 2021 offseason. The intrigue with Adebayo is that he shares the same agent as Antetokounmpo, who also is eligible for a max-tier extension over the next month.
Shams Charania: The Miami Heat plan to sign All-Star Bam Adebayo to a five-year, $163M contract extension, source tells @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium .
The Miami Heat are moving forward with a maximum rookie-scale extension for All-Star center, an NBA source confirmed to the Sun Sentinel, a five-year agreement that would kick in for the 2021-22 season and could run upwards of five years at almost $200 million.
The Heat have a Dec. 21 deadline to finalize such an agreement, the day before the scheduled start of the pandemic-delayed 2020-21 season. Adebayo stands as is the last remaining player in line for a maximum extension.
Ira Winderman: The Heat are moving forward with plans to extend Bam Adebayo.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that Adebayo’s agent, Alex Saratsis, will meet with the Heat this week regarding where Miami stands on a possible max extension that would leave the Heat with less 2021 cap space. Adebayo is expected to speak to reporters Tuesday in the context of a charitable Thanksgiving event.
Ira Winderman: Goran Dragic, on wearing "Bam" shirt, when Dragic signed his new deal Sunday, "I know we're going to take care of him." Adebayo is eligible for an extension over the next month.
The Miami Heat previously showed interest in the Italian forward at the trade deadline. If Giannis Antetokounmpo signs an extension with Milwaukee, some around the league expect Miami to extend Bam Adebayo, try to bring back Goran Dragic, and upgrade at forward. That could open the door for Gallinari to land with Miami as a free agent on a multi-year deal.
Albert Nahmad: If Heat want to be assured to be able to keep core + retain a Giannis-sized max salary slot for 2021: 🔥 They can’t extend Bam, and 🔥 Any long-term salary they take on (in free agency or trade) needs to be for a player: (x) who's tradable, or (y) who fits into excess cap room
Rival teams are monitoring Adebayo’s extension situation and the aftereffects if Miami bypasses extending their superstar big man. Miami is preparing to go all in on the pursuit of Milwaukee’s two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021 free agency, sources said. There is a school of thought that salary-wise, waiting on Adebayo’s extension would allow for as much space as possible for 2021. But given Adebayo’s presence, leadership and meaning to the Heat franchise, this is a straight-forward conversation between team executives and Adebayo’s agent, Alex Saratsis: A max extension this offseason or not.
NBA Central: Brian Windhorst says to keep an eye on Bam Adebayo and Giannis Antetokounmpo this off season "It’s interesting to point out that Bam and Giannis Antetokounmpo have the same agent. . . If neither of them sign extensions this off season, watch out for the Miami Heat." (🎥 ESPN) pic.twitter.com/hQXIytB8L2
All of this circles back to one of the most important decisions facing Miami: Bam Adebayo. He’ll be eligible for a max extension this offseason, and if he makes one of the top three 2020-21 All-NBA teams and/or wins Defensive Player of the Year, he’ll be eligible for a five-year deal that could pay him nearly $200 million. However, extending Adebayo now screws up the sugar-plum dreams of having cap space for a Giannis pursuit in 2021. One of the key pieces of that fantasy is that Adebayo’s restricted free-agent cap hold would only be $15 million; if he’s on the books for $35 million instead, that all goes right out the window.
However, a Miami team with Adebayo on a max contract, even the “low” max that pays just 25 percent of the cap, has no chance of having enough cap room for another max free agent. Not with Butler making $35 million in 2021-22 and $5.2 in dead money committed to the long-gone Ryan Anderson. Just with those three spots filled, it is not mathematically possible to have max cap space unless there is a massive leap in the cap number ahead of 2021 — which is the one thing that seems least likely to happen in the current financial environment.
May 16, 2022 | 9:00 pm EDT Update
Kyrie Irving — who has a decision to make next month on whether to opt-in to the final year of his Brooklyn contract — sat down for the latest “I Am Athlete” episode. He lifted the lid on a host of topics, including saying the Cavaliers would’ve stayed together longer and won more if he’d been more mature. “If I was in the same maturity line and understanding of who I am, and I look back, we definitely, definitely would’ve won more championships, because there would’ve been a better man-to-man understanding about what I’m going through. I didn’t know how to share my emotions,” Irving said. “I didn’t know how to do that. So instead of sharing, I isolated myself.”
Kyrie Irving: “I just started pouring myself more into the game — I had one of my better seasons but I wasn’t connecting with everybody as much during the championship year. So 2017, it was a different year for us. We went against Golden State, we went against a great team. When you’re not a great team and not clicking on all cylinders and together, you’re easily defeated. You’re defeated before you can get to the arena.”
While Irving has a $36.5 million opt-in decision to make, he’s at a different place in his life than he was when he asked out of Cleveland at 24. In hindsight, he regrets not speaking to LeBron James beforehand. “We didn’t talk during that time,” Irving admitted. “When I look back on what I was going through at that time, I wish I did, because it would’ve been a good understanding of what the future will hold for both of us and we know how much power we both had together. Me and him in the league together running Cleveland, and then being able to put a better team together every single year would’ve definitely been worth it.”
“Frustrating from an organizational standpoint. but even more so from Ben’s,: said Marks. “I had a conversation with Ben. We all did. We saw how he wanted to get out there. To be honest, I’ve got to admire that. He tries to do 3-on-3, 5-on-5 and then you turn around and get an MRI, You see the disc herniation has gotten worse. and you think, well this guy is pushing through something that he shouldn’t be pushing through. Nobody wants to have surgery. It’s the last resort but it’s bygone now and we’ve got to move forward on this, we’ve got to support him and so forth.”
Asked for lessons learned from the Simmons off-again, on-again saga. Marks used the opportunity to critique the critics. “It’s a little bit of a testament that 1) he tried to get back out there and tried to help his teammates and secondly, we have to be careful not judge people. And if you’re outside that medical profession, when you’re chiming in from afar. You just have to be a bit careful of what you’re saying because you really don’t know,” said Marks.
Marks spoke as well about he and Steve Nash have had “honest conversations” both about last season and the upcoming one. He reiterated the need for “high character players” and said he “could see no reason why” both Joe Harris and Seth Curry won’t be back healthy and ready for camp. “The ultimate goal hasn’t changed, that’s to be the last team standing.”
Young LeBron James has been found. Marquis “Mookie” Cook, a high-ranking high school basketball player, has been cast as the NBA superstar in Shooting Stars, Universal and SpringHill Co.’s adaptation of the 2009 book by James and Buzz Bissinger.