Exercising Bam Adebayo‘s fourth-year option displayed faith in a player that many in the Heat organization expect to show huge improvement this season, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Adebayo will make $5.1MM during the 2020/21 season and will be eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer. His role figures to increase after Miami traded away Hassan Whiteside in July.
“First off, he’s going to get more minutes, more exposure,” Goran Dragic told Jackson. “He already got tested, and we know what he can do. He’s a great player, great screener, roll to the basket. He brings a lot of energy to the team and I feel like this year is going to be different. More minutes, more responsibility. Everybody feels like, including me, that he’s ready for this big step in his career.”
There’s more from Miami:
- Of all the moves the Heat made this offseason, Dragic sees the trade of Josh Richardson as the most surprising, Jackson adds in the same story. The fifth-year swingman was shipped to the Sixers as part of a complex four-team deal to acquire Jimmy Butler. Richardson is a valuable two-way player who is coming off his best season, posting a 16.6/3.6/4.1 line. “With Josh, I was a bit surprised,” Dragic said. “I was sad to see him go. But at the same time, I think he’s going to do well in Philadelphia. He’s a great player, great team player who is great around guys in the locker room.”
- Coach Erik Spoelstra expressed appreciation for the support he has gotten from the Heat organization during an appearance with Doc Rivers on a recent edition of Adrian Wojnarowski’s ESPN podcast. “I think (owner) Micky (Arison) and (team president) Pat (Riley) are two of the best tandems in ownership and president in all of sports,” Spoelstra said. “… They understand the need for stability. They will weather storms, and we all struggled that first year. I struggled quite a bit, particularly in that Finals series. … The ownership and my bosses, I love who I work for because they do have my back.”
- American Airlines won’t renew naming rights for the Heat’s arena, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The team will be in the market for a new title sponsor after a 20-year arrangement.