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Bam Adebayo's extension doesn't mean the Heat are out on Giannis Antetokounmpo

For The Win logo For The Win 11/24/2020 Mike D. Sykes, II
Giannis Antetokounmpo holding a racket © Provided by For The Win

Bam Adebayo just got paid. And it was well deserved, too. Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. The deal won’t be signed for a few days, but it’s reportedly done.

The Heat’s All-Star center just signed a five-year, $165 million max deal with the team that drafted him. And he’s well worth it, too. He’s only 22 years old, yet he just dominated every single center in his way in the process of helping the Miami Heat reach the NBA Finals for the first time in six years.

Here’s the thing with the deal that we have to think about, though. If he makes an All-NBA team, the deal could eventually shoot up to $195 million, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

This thing could get pretty expensive.

The thing that most people are talking about now is how this takes them cleanly out of the Giannis sweepstakes for next season. But does it really? Let’s take a peek.

It looks like this team is about to get really expensive

Adebayo’s deal gives them a second max player on the roster along with Jimmy Butler’s already massive contract that comes in at about $36 million next season when Giannis Antetokounmpo might theoretically hit free agency.

Tack that on to Adebayo’s $28.1 million contract, and things get really expensive really quickly. Especially when you add in the new deals they just signed.

Goran Dragic just signed a two-year deal, per Shams Charania. So did Meyers Leonard for $20 million. All of those deals start to add up.

They’re not out of it yet, though

Let’s say Antetokounmpo does hit free agency next season. The Adebayo deal doesn’t take them out of the race. Neither do either of the Leonard or Dragic deals. They’ll just have to get a bit creative to fit Giannis in.

Both Dragic and Leonard have team options for the 2021-22 season. The Heat can effectively turn these into one year deals without losing any of the flexibility they may have had otherwise.

Andre Iguodala also has a team option on his $15 million contract for 2021-22, so he could be off the books as well. The Heat would have to delay extending Duncan Robinson and, potentially, Kendrick Nunn, but they could still swing Giannis next season should he hit the free agent market.

So, sure, the deal gets a bit harder to squeeze in. But they’re not out.

None of this might matteR

Antetokounmpo could effectively end all of these discussions by signing a new extension with the Milwaukee Bucks. What the Heat, or anyone else do, might not even matter.

The deadline for him to decide whether he wants to extend or simply test the market is December 21. We’ll know by the end of next month how things might swing. But until then? We have no idea.

That’s why, for the Heat, locking Adebayo up now was the next move possible.

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