Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo appeared on a recent episode of J.J. Redick’s podcast.
On the show, Adebayo recounted that back in 2018, he was almost traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for current Heat teammate Jimmy Butler.
“You heard the Minnesota situation, and it’s crazy,” said Adebayo. “Because I almost got traded for Jimmy, to Minnesota.”
Butler played for the Timberwolves in the 2017-18 season. But in the following offseason, he requested a trade, which led to a series of unfortunate events for the team and its star player.
The Marquette University product ended up playing 10 games for Minnesota in the 2018-19 campaign before getting traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Adebayo was starting his second year in the league then. He had a rocky rookie season, averaging 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. However, Miami obviously decided to keep him. As Adebayo pointed out, Heat president Pat Riley saw “something good” in him.
“But I almost got traded for Jimmy,” Adebayo continued. “Pat wouldn’t trade me. Like he was, ‘Nah, I see something good in this kid.’ Yadda, yadda, yadda.
“And, at that point, I’m sweating bullets. Like, I’m not trying to be traded. I like it in Miami. It’s warm. I kind of got my feet wet. I’m familiar with the place.”
Things turned out well for Miami after all. Butler eventually made his way to the Heat in the 2019 offseason via a sign-and-trade deal. As for Adebayo, he has become one of the league’s top big men and earned his first All-Star appearance in the 2019-20 season.
Together, Butler and Adebayo helped the Heat reach the NBA Finals in the 2020 playoffs. The team had a chance to win its fourth title in franchise history, but it lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
This season, the Heat have another opportunity to raise a championship banner after clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.