Bam hopes to spend entire career with Heat

Posted: 01/08/2022 in NBA
Tags: , , , , , ,

Bam Adebayo hopes to spend his entire career with the Miami Heat just like Udonis Haslem.

“If I could, I would,” Adebayo told reporters Saturday at his youth basketball clinic, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “Just to have that opportunity to be around this community for my whole career. A lot of the community has seen (me grow) up.

“Going from a random 14th (overall) draft pick to being a cornerstone in this organization and to become something bigger. It’s just one of those things that’s dope when people grow with you.”

He added: “I consider it a home away from home. … Just stepping in that type of Udonis Haslem role. Even though he’s from here, I feel like the city accepts me like UD.”

Adebayo has been involved in trade rumors this summer regarding Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant. However, the three-time NBA All-Defensive team selection can’t be included in a potential deal unless Ben Simmons is also traded.

Both Adebayo and Simmons are signed to designated rookie extensions, and teams can’t have more than one player on such a deal acquired via trade.

The Heat have kept Adebayo out of any trade proposal for Durant and currently have no plans to change their stance, sources told Chiang. Miami’s reported reluctance to deal Adebayo has gone a long way with the sixth-year big man out of Kentucky.

“It’s the faith they got in me,” Adebayo said. “I feel like they know what they have. You get a guy who’s hard-nosed, who’s going to get it out the mud, who’s not going to quit on his teammates. It’s just mutual respect. I feel like a lot of teams want me, but it’s just a respect thing.”

The 25-year-old also cited the belief of president Pat Riley, owner Micky Arison, and general manager Andy Elisburg as important factors needed to “make that next step to bring this city another championship.”

Adebayo averaged 19.1 points, 10.1 boards, 3.4 assists, and 1.4 steals over 56 appearances last season. He finished fourth in the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year voting. He’s entering the second season of a five-year, $163-million contract extension.

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