Bam Adebayo would be the perfect addition to the San Antonio Spurs
After being corraled into a pure center role at the University of Kentucky, it didn’t take long for Bam Adebayo to explode once he was given the freedom to run wild. In his third year with the Miami Heat, Adebayo took a massive leap. He made his first All-Star team, was a key piece of the Heat’s impressive season, and should be in consideration for an All-NBA Third Team spot. He’s exactly the kind of player the San Antonio Spurs should covet.
There simply aren’t many players in the league with Adebaoys skillset. You can count on one hand the number of players who can guard both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry, Bam is in that group. He’s also a skilled passer, voracious rebounder, a beast in the low post, and an imposing lob threat. There is very little that he can’t do on the basketball court.
Outside of his abilities on the basketball court, Bam seems like exactly the kind of player that any organization would want to have around for the long haul. He’s hard-working, humble, and seemingly cares for little outside of basketball and his mother, with whom he is very close. He’s everything the Heat could have dreamed of when they selected him with the 14th pick in the 2017 draft. But keeping him around might not be quite as easy.
Delaying Adebayo’s extension could open a window for the San Antonio Spurs
In a recent deep dive on how teams across the league are dealing with the financial repercussions of the league suspension and arenas closing, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed that the Heat might not offer Adebayo an extension this year in order to preserve cap space.
Pat Riley is a notorious big game hunter and the free-agent class of 2021 is as loaded as they come. The Milwaukee Bucks could offer Giannis a supermax contract this summer, but given the uncertainty around what could happen to the salary cap, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Giannis prefer to push those discussions until the summer of 2021. If that is the case, he would join a free-agent class that also includes superstars like Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Gordon Hayward, and Chris Paul.
Expect the Heat to be players during that summer. They’ve already got a top-20 player in Jimmy Butler, but Riley won’t be satisfied with anything less than a championship-caliber roster and will surely do anything to make that happen, even delaying extending his young star big man.
To be clear, Miami surely plans to keep Bam in their organization. There are layers to this. Bam and Giannis share the same agent and Bam will reportedly be in the loop on the Heat’s attempts to woo Giannis to South Beach.
Playing ‘what if’ for a moment, what if Giannis and Anthony Davis decide they want to come and play for the Heat during the summer of 2021. Would Riley really pass up on that opportunity? I doubt it. And it would be hard, if not impossible, to pay those two while also keeping Butler around. Something would have to give.
By all accounts, Bam doesn’t seem like the kind of player who is going to let this sort of thing get to him. He’s the embodiment of the Heat culture and has all the makings of a franchise cornerstone.
But as Spurs fans, we’ve seen up close and personal how fast a relationship can sour. You don’t wish that one anyone but it can happen in the NBA. In the unlikely event that it does, the Spurs should make every attempt to be first in line to court Adebayo.
Bam will likely spend his career in Miami. But if there is ever an opportunity for the San Antonio Spurs to add him to the core of Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker, Derrick White, and Keldon Johnson they have to jump at it.