The first two years of Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo’s NBA career have shown glimpses of a player who can become a force in the years ahead.
Adebayo is continuing to make sure he develops his potential and is making plans to spend a portion of his offseason training with Milwaukee Bucks superstar power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Shandel Richardson of The Athletic notes that Adebayo has been relatively inactive since the Heat’s season ended on April 10. However, the 21-year-old veteran does plan to return home to his native North Carolina to staring working to improve soon enough.
“There are also plans to train with Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo,” he wrote. “Both share the same agent, Alex Saratsis. The timing and extensiveness of the sessions will depend on how long Milwaukee remains in the playoffs.”
The Bucks are set to begin their second-round series against the Boston Celtics on Sunday and entered the postseason with the best record in the league. That means that they would have home-court advantage through the NBA Finals if they advance that far.
If the Bucks make it that far, the start of any training for Adebayo and Antetokounmpo would likely be pushed back to late June or early July. Yet any opportunity to continually be challenged by a player of Antetokounmpo’s stature would be beneficial.
Antetokounmpo ended his 2018-19 season with averages of 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. In six NBA seasons, he’s developed into one of the league’s top players and also has shown that he can be a force on defense by averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per game this season.
Adebayo arrived in Miami two years ago as the No. 14 overall pick in the 2017 draft and took positive strides forward by improving his statistical numbers this past season.
Appearing in all 82 games, he started 28 of those contests and finished with averages of 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
That durability made Adebayo the first Heat player to play in every game of a season since Norris Cole did it during the 2013-14 season. Yet Adebayo is more focused on being a key piece of the team’s resurgence and knows that putting in the hard work during the offseason is necessary.
“You’ve got to grow up someday,” he said. “You can’t run from it. The time is now for us, as in right now.”
With Hassan Whiteside entering the final year of his contract, his future with the Heat is murky at best.
That means that how well Adebayo’s continued development progresses could help determine whether or not the team is able to improve going forward.