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Giannis Antetokounmpo’s feelings about Bam Adebayo’s extension with Heat

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bam Adebayo, Heat, Bucks

When the Miami Heat offered All-Star Bam Adebayo a five-year max extension, many folks in NBA circles read that as an indication that the franchise would not pursue two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo if he hits free agency in the summer of 2021, considering the cap space Adebayo’s deal uses up.

Adebayo’s contract could be worth anywhere from $163 million to $196 million, depending on incentives.

Furthermore, the Heat’s willingness to offer Adebayo the extension signaled that Pat Riley may have intel that Antetokounmpo will sign his own super-max extension this month to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks and forego unrestricted free agency altogether.

However, that may not exactly be the case.

According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, Adebayo’s deal could in fact improve the team’s standing in the Antetokounmpo sweepstakes.

“A source who knows Antetokounmpo well said he would be more impressed by the Heat giving Adebayo the extension now than asking Adebayo to wait a year for the purpose of making it easier for the Heat to acquire Antetokounmpo,” Jackson wrote.

Antetokounmpo shares an agent, Alex Saratsis, with Adebayo and could be appreciative and supportive of the Heat’s decision to reward Adebayo, who embodies many of the same qualities—competitiveness, unselfishness, a strong work ethic—that Antetokounmpo does.

Miami could have delayed Adebayo’s extension by one season and paid him with the same money next summer. Evidently, Riley and company are banking that extending him early will reap major rewards in the future.

Financially, Adebayo’s extension doesn’t necessarily rule out Antetokounmpo’s chances of taking his talents to South Beach, should he so desire. Miami still possesses a rich enough cabinet of assets—including Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, Precious Achiuwa, and multiple draft picks—to potentially pull off a sign-and-trade.

As an evergreen rule for NBA free agency: never rule out Riley and the Miami Heat.