It's no secret that Pat Riley and the Miami Heat have been among the biggest contenders for Giannis Antetokounmpo. If he decides to leave Milwaukee in the summer of 2021, Riley wants to make sure his team is in a good position to sign the 2x MVP.
Obviously, maintaining cap flexibility is a huge part of the "plan," so when the Heat offered Bam Adebayo a five-year max extension, it signaled to a lot of people that Miami may be pulling out of the Giannis sweepstakes for good.
Interestingly, however, the move may actually help their chances of acquiring the "Greek Freak." According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, taking care of their own could have earned the Heat some major points.
“A source who knows Antetokounmpo well said he would be more impressed by the Heat giving Adebayo the extension now than asking Adebayo to wait a year for the purpose of making it easier for the Heat to acquire Antetokounmpo,” Jackson wrote.
If the Bucks superstar really is considering taking his talents to South Beach, you can bet the team will find a way to absorb his contract. Even without cap space, the Heat have more than enough assets to pull off a sign-and-trade. Giannis and Adebayo share the same agent.
Heading into the 2020-21 season, the Milwaukee Bucks are feeling good about their chances to keep their star. They have made a couple of notable moves this offseason that should result in a long, more successful playoff run.
But it is not yet time to discount the Heat, who seem determined to be the home of the next great NBA superteam.