Heat’s Bam Adebayo Wants To Win Defensive Player Of The Year Award Next Season

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo wants to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award next season. The Kentucky product has made four All-Defensive teams in his career.

Adebayo averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Heat last season. The two-time All-Star shot 54.0% from the field and 80.6% from the free-throw line. He’s one of the best two-way players in the NBA.

Adebayo believes injuries and fatigue prevented the Heat from beating the Denver Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Finals. The Heat lost to the Nuggets in five games and played without Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Bam Adebayo & Miami Heat Updates

“I feel like we just came up short because we had [among the most] injuries in the 2022-23 season,” Adebayo told Leonard Solms of ESPN. “[Through] all those ups and downs throughout the season… I feel like fatigue had a toll.”

The Heat signed Adebayo to a five-year, $163 million contract in November 2020. Pat Riley has labeled Adebayo and Jimmy Butler as untouchable in trade talks with the Portland Trail Blazers, who are dealing with Damian Lillard’s trade request. Lillard, who is close friends with Adebayo, has demanded that Portland trade him to Miami.

Blazers general manager Joe Cronin told NBA reporters on July 10 in Las Vegas at Summer League that he’s not going to rush a Lillard trade. In fact, Cronin is willing to wait “months” to trade Lillard, who doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract.

The Heat are the only team Lillard wants to get traded to. The superstar has no interest in playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets. Since the Blazers have not been impressed by the Heat’s trade package for Lillard, it appears a third team will need to get involved for Lillard to land in Miami next to Butler and Adebayo.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Bam Adebayo & Miami Heat Updates

Lillard averaged 32.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists last season for the Blazers. The Heat, who have reached two NBA Finals since Butler came to Miami in 2019, believe they can win it all next season with Lillard in the fold next to Butler and Adebayo.

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