Adebayo said he hasn’t spoken to Antetokounmpo. However, some, including one agent with several max players, speculates there was some form of communication between either the players or their representation. “For sure, he let him know,” the agent surmised. “I’m sure Giannis is going to get his extension.”
Back then, it would have taken a Giannis-level budding superstar with a decade of prime in front of him to make Riley consider it. Now? Adebayo is pretty much off the board. A league source tells The Athletic that the Heat “would hang the phone up with F-bombs ringing through the disconnected call” if someone demanded Adebayo in a deal.
“If I were a new coach, I’d like to coach them together for a year first before trading either, but if I had to pick, I’d trade Embiid,” one Western Conference coach told HoopsHype. “I think Simmons is more versatile. I’d just surround him with shooters and open the floor up like Milwaukee for Giannis. There can be more creativity with Simmons on the offensive end. I would try to trade Embiid to Miami and get some of their young, hungry shooters and guards like Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, etc. Ideally, I’d get Bam, but I doubt Miami would trade him."
The Heat have told inquiring teams that Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo are untouchable, according to sources. If that holds true, Miami would either need to find a way to acquire more first-rounders or persuade the Heat to take on a package built around Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, some combination of Kendrick Nunn and/or Duncan Robinson and a 2025 first-rounder.
Last month you heard your name in trade talks for Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. What did it mean to you when the Heat fell out of those discussions because they were unwilling to part with you? Bam Adebayo: "It boosted my confidence extremely. They have high expectations for me. What that means is I’ve got to go in there and be who they want me to be. I can’t take time off. I can’t lose focus of what my goal is and what their goal is for me. They passed on two All-Stars to keep me. I’m thankful for that but also it’s a business at the end of the day … their business was to keep me. I’m just out there trying to keep the main goal the main goal, which is to win."
You’ve often said you love playing in Miami. How much did you pay attention to those trade rumors? Were you nervous? Bam Adebayo: "I wasn’t nervous. It’s that state of mind where you just don’t know. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Every day when I got a (social-media) notification, I would break out in sweats because I’d be like, ‘Yo, this might be the day. I might be shipped out of here.’ Seriously, it’s a kind of feeling a lot of people don’t know what that feels like. I’ve seen my brother (Josh Richardson) get traded. That feeling sucks the air out of the room. That’s pretty much how it feels. If my phone was ringing, just hearing that, you’re like, `Today might be the day.’ It’s the state of the unknown. It’s pretty scary."
At another point in the discussions this week, the Thunder asked the Heat to include two among Herro, Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow, according to a source in touch with one of the two teams. The Heat also is opposed to including Adebayo, whom Erik Spoelstra ranked among the best centers in the league in the final months of last season.
The Heat and Thunder have been discussing potential combinations of players, and those specifics remain unknown. But indications are the Heat would prefer not to include Bam Adebayo or Herro. This trade would be highly appealing to the Heat if Miami can merely shed contracts of players not in its longterm plans, but it’s questionable if the Thunder would go for that.
Darren Wolfson: Had a mutual friend of ours in the league say today that he heard the Wolves asked Miami for both Richardson and Bam. But couldn't confirm from another contact. But falls in line with what @Marc Stein has tonight.
Darren Wolfson: "My understanding is, from talking to numerous league officials - league sources, front-office folks, a coach, actually, a couple of coaching sources - that the Timberwolves have all the parameters of the deals that they can make. So it's on the Wolves at some point here to say yes. Now, do they wait a little bit longer just to see if some team adds some player in, like Miami? Miami is not willing to move Josh Richardson. But in the end, do they offer Josh Richardson? I talked about that on a recent podcast, that some league people thought yeah, at the end, Pat Riley would make him available when you have the chance to acquire a star like Jimmy Butler. But so far, as of Oct. 2nd, no sense whatsoever that Miami is making Josh Richardson available. Same goes for Bam Adebayo."
The Heat has been very reluctant this offseason to part with Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo, and it’s unclear if Miami would be willing to include Richardson in a deal for Butler. (Miami’s preference would be not to include Richardson.) Miami also prefers to keep Kelly Olynyk. But Justise Winslow could be put in play because of questions about whether the Heat will keep him if he enters restricted free agency next summer.
And though Pat Riley publicly said there are no untouchables on his roster, the Heat also showed no inclination in trading Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo. And Miami’s preference this summer was to keep James Johnson and Justise Winslow.
January 25, 2021 | 4:57 pm EST Update
Kerry Eggers: More @Damianillard on missing the fans at games at Moda Center: “The energy fans bring is unbelievable. I’ve always known that but after having to play these games without fans in empty arenas, I’ve never felt it more than I do now. I’m sure the other players feel the same way”
Ben Anderson: There’s a lot of talk about Mike Conley’s +/- over the last eight games, in which he leads the league at +19.4. Lost in that is that Rudy Gobert is second in the NBA at 17.9. Those two together this year have been incredibly tough on opponents.