Damian Lillard and Bam Adebayo could wind up as teammates somehow, but the Miami Heat reportedly are adamant that it will only be with them and not the Portland Trail Blazers, who reportedly have a strong interest in acquiring the center.
“According to one source with knowledge of the situation, Portland is preparing what the team believes to be a compelling package for Miami to part with All-Defensive centerpiece Bam Adebayo,” wrote Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports.
One Heat insider shot down any talk of Adebayo possibly heading to Portland in a trade.
I’m here to report that Miami will not consider ANY trade packages from Portland for Bam Adebayo. Period. Move on.
MIAMI IS NOT INTERESTED IN DRAFT PICKS AND YOUNG PLAYERS https://t.co/9Vzvifp49J
— Greg Sylvander (@GregSylvander) June 20, 2023
Lillard reportedly has been a prime target for the Heat this offseason as they try to improve after falling short in the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets. Miami’s plan seems to be to combine Lillard with Adebayo and Jimmy Butler to add a little more star power to its lineup.
Sending Adebayo away, specifically to Portland, would be a step back for a team that is trying to remain a championship contender.
Adebayo at 25 years old looks to be entering his prime after averaging a career-high 20.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game during the regular season. He was solid during the 2023 playoffs, particularly in the NBA Finals when he led the Heat with 21.8 points and 12.4 rebounds per game in the five-game loss.
“He and Lillard played together for Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and have developed a close friendship, but the Heat have primarily searched to supplement Adebayo in recent transaction cycles, sources said, and have not pondered a future without him starring in the frontcourt,” Fischer wrote. “Miami has targeted additional power forward help ever since the departure of P.J. Tucker last summer in free agency. Adebayo is a team favorite and a key hub of the Heat’s offense. Miami brass seems very unlikely to consider any Portland overture that doesn’t include standout rookie Shaedon Sharpe, in addition to a package of the No. 3 pick and Anfernee Simons that the Blazers, sources said, have made available in discussions with other teams.”
Portland has the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft that is set to be held Thursday. A proposed deal including the selection seemingly wouldn’t be attractive to Miami if the Heat have no interest in picks or young players.
The Wizards agreed to receive Chris Paul, Landry Shamet and draft compensation from the Suns, while the Heat reportedly were willing to offer players like Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson and Victor Oladipo as part of their package.
The Heat might not be able to pry Lillard away from the Trail Blazers. If Miami fails to nab Lillard after also losing out on Beal, it may have to run it back this season with the supporting cast it used last season to complement Adebayo and Butler.
Tyler Herro will return from an injury that caused him to miss nearly all of the playoff run, and the Heat have “mutual interest” in bringing back impending free agents Max Strus and Gabe Vincent. Combined with valuable asset Caleb Martin, it is clear Adebayo is more valuable to the Heat as a player rather than a possible trade piece.