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Miami Heat split on whether to include Bam Adebayo in Kevin Durant trade

Vincent Frank

The Miami Heat have been among the teams most linked to Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant after he requested a trade back in June.

Despite lacking the assets that Brooklyn seeks, Miami remains one of Durant’s top landing spots. In fact, it’s said to be his preferred destination with the Phoenix Suns seemingly out of the running.

One big-time asset that Miami boasts is star center Bam Adebayo who has morphed into one of the better big men in the game. However, the Heat’s brass seems split on whether to include Adebayo in a trade for Durant.

“A party familiar with the Heat’s approach told the Sun Sentinel that while there has been internal consideration of the team utilizing center Bam Adebayo as a trade component, at least one influential member of the organization has shot down the notion.”

Report from Miami Heat insider Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

These are the complexities that come with a potentially historical blockbuster trade. Since Miami selected him with the 14th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, Adebayo has morphed into a legit star.

  • Bam Adebayo stats (2021-22): 19.1 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.4 APG, 56% shooting

At 25, Adebayo is just now hitting his prime. Moving off him for an aging veteran with recent injury issues is far from a no-brainer.

Related: How a Donovan Mitchell trade to the Miami Heat might look

Kevin Durant trade to the Miami Heat remains highly unlikely

miami heat, kevin durant
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn is reportedly seeking two All-Star caliber players as well as an historical haul of draft picks. Right now, Miami is lacking in the asset category. In fact, it can offer up only two future first-round picks in a trade.

Outside of Adebayo, reigning Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro could be used as a centerpiece. However, it’s unlikly that Brooklyn views him in that manner. After all, general manager Sean Marks and Co. aren’t even sold on Golden State Warriors stars Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole as centerpieces.

Led by front office head Pat Riley, Miami is indeed looking to pull off separate trades that would net it more assets to offer up to Brooklyn. Perhaps, Herro could be flipped for multiple future first-round selections.

Though, there’s even more sticking points when it comes to a potential KD trade to the Miami Heat. Brooklyn would not be able to take on Adebayo’s rookie-level max contract. NBA rules prohibit teams from acquiring multiple players who are under said rookie deals. The Nets already have Ben Simmons playing under a rookie max contract.

In short, Brooklyn would either have to flip Simmons in another trade or the Heat would have to get a third team involved to take on Adebayo.

As it is, we’re hitting the slow part of the NBA summer calendar. There’s no reasonable expectation that the Miami Heat or any other team is close to pulling off a blockbuster of this ilk.