More than three years before Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler led the Heat to the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference this season, they were almost traded for one another, Adebayo said during a recent appearance on J.J. Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.
According to Adebayo, his name came up in trade talks in 2018 when the Heat were exploring the possibility of acquiring Butler from the Timberwolves.
“You heard the Minnesota situation,” Adebayo told Redick, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “And it’s crazy, because I almost got traded for Jimmy, to Minnesota. … (team president) Pat (Riley) 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.”
According to Winderman, the Heat’s offer to Minnesota in 2018 ended up revolving around Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters, and draft picks. The Wolves instead sent Butler to the Sixers, who flipped the veteran swingman to Miami less than a year later in a sign-and-trade deal involving Richardson.
Here’s more on the Heat:
- In an interview with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Heat wing Max Strus discussed his recovery from a 2019 ACL tear, his experience in Miami, and his long-term career goals. Strus – who is under contract with the Heat for one more season before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2023 – said he’s taking things year by year but would “love to be here” long-term. “I think it’s been great for my career, and I think I’m a good fit for the Heat and what we do here,” he said. “I try not to get too caught up in that because you never know what’s going to happen.”
- While the March 23 sideline spat involving Jimmy Butler, Udonis Haslem, and head coach Erik Spoelstra didn’t look good, the Heat were able to quickly move past that incident and have no regrets, per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I could have been a little more cool-headed,” Haslem said on Cari Champion’s podcast. “Jimmy could have been a little more cool-headed. But I don’t think neither one of us regret that situation. Because you look at the type of basketball we’re playing now. A couple of days later, we were back drinking wine together.”
- After returning to the court last month following a long recovery from quad surgery, Victor Oladipo appeared in just eight of the Heat’s last 17 games and only played 20 or more minutes three times. However, he showed just how valuable he can be by averaging 30.5 points on 60.6% shooting in his final two games. As Winderman writes in another Sun Sentinel article, the Heat will face a tough decision on how and when to insert Oladipo into a crowded rotation for the postseason. “I don’t have no control with that,” the two-time All-Star said. “If my number is called, I’ll be ready.”