Miami Heat president Pat Riley admitted that All-star center Bam Adebayo was discussed in a trade this year.
However, Riley shared that it was not from Miami shopping the four-time All-Defensive selection.
“But there are instances with all players. Bam Adebayo was discussed in a trade this year,” Riley told the Sun Sentinel. “Not from us, we said no — no, no, no, no, no. So you have to get on the phone and talk to people.”
Despite Portland’s asking price, it’s clear that Riley values Adebayo too highly to include him in such a deal. That’s a big reason why the Heat ended up missing out on the Lillard sweepstakes this offseason.
The Heat had been rumored to be pursuing Lillard, but ultimately Portland ended up dealing him to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for a package that featured All-Star guard Jrue Holiday.
It’s no secret that Adebayo is coveted around the league, as he’s one of the NBA’s best defensive big men. Adebayo has a unique ability to be able to switch onto smaller players and defend them on the perimeter effectively.
Not all big men can do that, and it’s a reason why Miami’s defense has been so solid with Adebayo on the floor. Over the last five seasons, Adebayo has posted a defensive box plus/minus of at least 2.0 four different times.
A former first-round pick, Adebayo made his second career All-Star team last season. He averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 54.0 percent from the field.
The Heat and Adebayo are hoping to show that the decision not to make a trade this offseason was the right one.
Miami made the NBA Finals last season as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, but the team did lose two role players in Gabe Vincent (signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency) and Max Strus (sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers) this offseason.
Hopefully for Riley and Miami, Adebayo can prove why he was kept out of any trade and put together another All-Star season in the 2023-24 campaign.