The Miami Heat haven't made many moves this offseason outside of re-signing veteran guard Goran Dragic to a two-year, $37.4 million deal to retain one of their most effective scorers in the postseason last season. They also added veterans Avery Bradley and Moe Harkless and brought back Meyers Leonard. After making a trip to the NBA Finals, though, there aren't many moves the Heat needed to make in order to be in contention for a title next season as most of their core are already locked up. Plus, Miami, like most teams in the league, wanted to remain financially flexible for the 2021 offseason when Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to become an unrestricted free agent.
However, on Tuesday, the Heat and All-Star center Bam Adebayo agreed to a five-year max extension with the Heat, according to the Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman. The deal includes escalator clauses that can take its total to $195 million over five years, and it will ensure that the Heat's All-Star big man avoids restricted free agency in 2021 after signing the deal. Adebayo was eligible for a rookie max extension, and will join Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell and De'Aaron Fox as the other three players from the 2017 draft class to sign their rookie extensions this offseason.
That deal is more than warranted for Adebayo, who had a breakout season where he earned his first All-Star nod, and was an integral piece in carrying the Heat to an improbable Finals run last season. Adebayo's versatility on both ends of the floor is his biggest asset for Miami. He can guard virtually any position on defense, and on offense he can score in a variety of ways, whether that be in the pick-and-roll with Duncan Robinson, which became incredibly effective last season, in the paint or pull up for a mid-range jumper.
While this move is a no-brainer for Adebayo given the season he had, it also may signal something else about the Heat's future. With Adebayo's signing, it means that Miami will sacrifice 2021 cap flexibility to try and pursue Giannis to join the franchise. It's still possible for Miami to land the reigning MVP. However, it would be more difficult financially now.
Miami giving Adebayo a contract extension could alter not only its ability to pursue Giannis, but also the Bucks superstar's decision on signing the supermax deal, which Milwaukee has been confident about happening in recent days. While there has been no news on if Giannis will sign the contract extension now or after this season, Adebayo's contract could have an impact on the decison.