Miami Heat sign Bam Adebayo to five-year, $163 million extension

By Vincent Frank
Dec 13, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) dunks against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After seeing fellow draft mates De’Aaron Fox and Donovan Mitchell land max contract extensions over the past few days, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo is about to get paid big time.

Rumors have been circulating from South Beach that Miami planned on signing the stud center to a lucrative contract extension. That has now come to fruition.

Miami Heat sign Bam Adebayo to $163 million extension

Adebayo, 23, was eligible for a $195 million extension, much like Fox and Mitchell. As you can tell, the former first-round pick from Kentucky took that max deal and ran with it. Adebayo can earn $32 million more, making it a $195 million extension, should he earn All-NBA honors in 2020-21.

This extension is obviously well warranted. A first-time All-Star this past season, Adebayo has morphed into one of the most-skilled big men in the NBA.

Adebayo’s first three NBA seasons have been defined by improvements each year.

Bam Adebayo stats

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo blocks Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum
Sep 15, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo (13) blocks a shot by Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during overtime in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
  • 2017-18: 6.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 51% shooting
  • 2018-19: 8.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.2 APG, 58% shooting
  • 2019-20: 15.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 5.1 APG, 56% shooting

This type of upward trajectory has led to a huge long-term commitment from the Heat. In reality, Adebayo is one of the primary reasons this team earned a surprise trip to the NBA Finals last season. His ability to score, rebound and set up others can’t go unnoticed.

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There was some concern that the Heat might wait until next summer to sign Adebayo to an extension given their financials. They have Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk combining to earn north of $80 million this coming season.

However, Adebayo’s new deal will not count against the Heat’s cap until the 2021-22 season. That made it plausible for the team to bite the bullet and extend him on Tuesday.

All of this comes with NBA teams spending a ton of cash during the first few days of free agency despite the economic downturn created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.