Bam Adebayo speaks on his connection with Damian Lillard amidst Miami Heat rumors

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Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo opened up about his connection with guard Damian Lillard, with trade rumors continuing to swirl about the Portland Trail Blazers veteran.

Adebayo was asked about the efforts of the Heat to acquire Lillard and noted that despite their apparent bond, neither player has real control of the situation.

“Biggest thing is me and Dame do have a connection,” Adebayo said. “We do have a type of brotherhood, but it’s business. Both sides want it to make sense. We’re not a part of that — well, I’m not a part of that. The only thing I can do is spread my influence, and me and Dame just continue to be close friends.”

The connection that Adebayo mentioned seemingly stems from the two players’ time together as members of Team USA. That took place during the most recent Summer Olympics, which resulted in the United States winning gold.

During those Olympics, Lillard reportedly expressed plenty of enthusiasm about being able to play with someone like Adebayo. In return, Adebayo pointed to the connection he made with Lillard.

Both Adebayo and Lillard have also competed against each other in NBA action during the past six seasons. Over that time, those meetings haven’t been frequent but have given Lillard the opportunity to get a much closer look at what Adebayo can do on the court.

Getting an answer as to whether Adebayo and Lillard will end up as teammates with the Heat may not happen in the immediate future. That’s despite strong rumors that the Heat are really the only team pursuing a deal for Lillard.

One of the key issues has to do with the level of assets that the Heat are able and willing to give to the Trail Blazers. Some reports have indicated that Portland is content to drag out any trade talks in order to gain the best possible deal for Lillard.

Despite making a trade request on July 1, Lillard has reportedly indicated that he will report to training camp even if he isn’t traded.

The current standstill may ultimately end with a trade in the coming months, allowing Adebayo and Lillard to renew acquaintances. More importantly, such a trade would give the Heat a prolific scorer who is searching to be a part of his first NBA title team.

That goal isn’t all that far off, based on the Heat’s appearance in the 2023 NBA Finals and the team’s recent run of success. However, how much the Heat have to give up to get Lillard, coupled with the possibility of injuries, could play key roles in how the team ends up performing.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.