The Heat’s pursuit of Damian Lillard could give Bam Adebayo a chance to team up with a close friend, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. They formed a bond while winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, which is one of the reasons Miami stands alone on Lillard’s list of preferred destinations. Adebayo said that along with Lillard’s obvious talents, his “demeanor” could help the Heat make another run at a title.
“How he walks, how he talks, how he presents himself, we have a lot of those similar characteristics,” Adebayo said. “Dame isn’t the loudest person. I’m not the loudest person. We’re two down to earth people that gelled well in the Olympics.”
Adebayo was speaking from his youth basketball camp, where he got plenty of questions about Lillard from the participants. Miami hasn’t made much progress toward a deal because its offers haven’t appealed to Portland and it hasn’t been able to find another team to help facilitate a trade. Adebayo couldn’t offer any inside information, but he urged the campers to remain patient.
“The biggest thing is business,” he said. “Everybody wants it to make sense. Everybody on their side wants it to make sense. Obviously, other sides want it to make sense, too. So I feel like it’s just a waiting game until they reach an agreement, if or when it does happen.”
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Hawks guard Trae Young is interested in joining Team USA for the 2024 Olympics (Twitter link from ClutchPoints). Young discussed the possibility in an interview with Gilbert Arenas, saying, “Obviously, I definitely want to … It’s up to them if they want me to … I respect the OGs and understand that you got to take your turn, but I believe that I should be on.”
- Bilal Coulibaly tells Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington that the Wizards were the only team he met with before the draft. Coulibaly’s Metropolitans 92 team was in the French League finals, so he wasn’t able to participate in the normal pre-draft process, but he flew to Washington for a private meeting a few weeks before draft day. Coulibaly said he understands the responsibility of being the first pick of the new front office led by general manager Will Dawkins and Monumental Basketball president Michael Winger. “That’s just that they can trust me,” Coulibaly said. “They know I’m going to do the job for sure. They want me to play defense at first because that’s my biggest tool, so I’m going to do it. They don’t gotta worry about it.”
- Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel examines how Magic lottery picks Anthony Black and Jett Howard are planning to spend the rest of the summer as they prepare for their first NBA training camp.