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Report: Heat signing Bam Adebayo to contract extension, nuking 2021 max cap space

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Heat star Bam Adebayo

ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 31: Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat plays defense against Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs on August 31, 2020 at the The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Update: Bam Adebayo will not only get a max contract extension (projected $163 million), he’ll reportedly trigger the super-max (projected $196 million) if making even All-NBA third team or winning Defensive Player of the Year.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

I’m surprised Adebayo’s super-max terms don’t escalate by honor (i.e., All-NBA first team paying more than second team paying more than third team). Perhaps, they do and that’s getting lost in translation as details leak out.

If Adebayo makes an All-NBA team or wins Defensive Player of the Year, that’d cut even further into the Heat’s 2021 cap space.

Is Giannis Antetokounmpo signing his super-max extension with the Bucks?

In what would be the biggest domino of the NBA offseason to date, the Heat are reportedly signing Bam Adebayo to a contract extension.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel:

Signing Adebayo to a max extension would cut about $13 million of the Heat’s 2021 cap space, which they planned to preserve to chase free agents like Antetokounmpo.

Miami would project to have just $27 million of cap space. Antetokounmpo’s max salary in 2021 free agency projects to be about $34 million.

Unless the 2021-22 salary cap lands higher than expected, even a roster stripped to just Jimmy Butler, Adebayo and Tyler Herro wouldn’t leave max cap space for Antetokounmpo.

Not extending Adebayo was Miami’s best route to max cap space in 2021. The Heat could have held Adebayo at a lower cap hold, used their cap space then re-signed him to a max contract. Adebayo would’ve gotten the exact same money at the end of the day.

Instead, if extended, he’ll start next offseason counting at his 2021-22 salary (which is expected to be the max).

Adebayo would’ve faced risk entering next season without an extension. A young star himself, Adebayo has leverage here. Did he agitate for a the security of an extension now? A max extension would guarantee him $163 million over five years, and All-NBA escalators and/or a higher-than-expected salary cap could get him even more.

Antetokounmpo and Adebayo share an agent, Alex Saratsis. Perhaps, the Heat know Antetokounmpo isn’t coming. He did say he dislikes flashy cities like Miami. But considering the impression the Heat left in the playoffs, it’s hard to see them giving up on Antetokounmpo unless he’s actually signing the super-max extension with Milwaukee now.

Which is why this news puts all eyes on Antetokounmpo.