You could easily make the case that no player drafted by the Miami Heat in the past decade is more worthy of a contract extension than Bam Adebayo, who becomes eligible for one this summer. If the vagaries of the salary cap were not an issue, the Heat assuredly would give him one. But as much as the Heat values Adebayo and wants to keep him long-term, giving him a multiyear extension this summer would be very damaging in the Heat’s efforts to lure Giannis Antetokounmpo or another star in 2021 free agency.
Storyline: Bam Adebayo Extension
Here’s why: If the Heat this summer locks up Adebayo to a max contract (or something close to it) that he appears increasingly likely to command, his full salary would be on the Heat’s books for the 2021-22 season, thus drastically reducing Miami’s cap space in the summer of 2021. But if the Heat doesn’t extend him this summer — and instead allows Adebayo to enter restricted free agency in the summer of 2021 — Miami could sign outside free agents first and then sign Adebayo to a new five-year deal in the 2021 offseason, with a cap charge of $15.3 million for that 2021-22 season regardless of what Miami pays him.
But there would be a bit of risk for Adebayo; any player is in jeopardy of sustaining a career-altering injury and Adebayo might prefer the security of an extension instead of going into the final year of a deal that will pay him $5.1 million next season, regardless of whether he signs an extension or not. Nevertheless, with as much as the Heat loves him, and Adebayo’s affection for the Heat, there’s little reason to believe that Adebayo would reject the wait-until-2021 scenario, particularly if Miami makes clear to Saratsis that it views him as a max player.
Ira Winderman: Pat Riley statement on the passing of former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, “It was a privilege to play against a Jerry Sloan coached team, I always knew that we would be severely tested. His overall philosophy on both sides of the ball was fundamentally solid and always one step ahead of the game. Loyalty was his badge of honor and his no nonsense approach to competition was perfect for the game. Jerry will go down in history as one of the most admired great winners and respected teachers of basketball ever. I am humbled and saddened by his passing.”