NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Path to the Miami Heat Could Hinge On a Single Factor

The Miami Heat are coming off a remarkable run through the 2020 playoffs that nearly saw them win an NBA title. It has also placed a bright future ahead of the Heat beyond this year. Within that comes the strong feelings around the possibility of acquiring star forward Giannis Antetokoumpo, which a pathway to that scenario has emerged.

Heat shining after impressive run through the playoffs

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Although the Heat fell just two wins shy of securing an NBA title, it was nothing short of an impressive playoff run.

Miami demonstrated its potential to become a powerhouse in the league for many years down the line. Jimmy Butler has proven to be a perfect fit with the franchise as the leader and a bonafide superstar. Meanwhile, the young talent in Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Duncan Robinson have all shown to be invaluable pieces to their long-term success.

All that has generated chatter around the possibility of being in play to land Giannis Antetokounmpo. It has also put one potential route on the table to acquire the star forward in free agency in 2021.

Bam Adebayo may be key to Giannis Antetokounmpo landing in Miami

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Before the Heat made their run to the NBA Finals, the chatter began to grow around the franchise being a possible landing spot for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

That notion has only gathered more steam over the last several weeks as the Miami Heat look to possess a promising future ahead. With that in mind, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst voiced on “The Jump” on Tuesday that if Bam Adebayo were to hold off his extension talks until next offseason, it could keep financial flexibility to add Antetokounmpo.

“It’s interesting to point out that Bam and Giannis Antetokounmpo have the same agent. . . If neither of them sign extensions this off season, watch out for the Miami Heat.”

That is in an intriguing nugget of information that both Adebayo and Antetokounmpo share the same agent. The 23-year-old is currently heading into the offseason, where he is eligible for a lucrative extension. Adebayo will make $5.1 million next season and has a $7.1 million qualifying offer the following year.

All that hinges on the premise that Adebayo holds up on the opportunity to cash in on his career-best campaign and strong showing in the playoffs. The Heat may implore him to wait, but it’s something that will be interesting to see play out. Miami is undoubtedly looking to add more to the puzzle, and they will do whatever it takes to position themselves to add a talent like Antetokounmpo.

Plenty of options ahead

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The Miami Heat will be one of many options on the table for Giannis Antetokounmpo if he considers leaving the Bucks.

Antetokounmpo has complete control of his NBA future as the upcoming offseason will be indicative of what lies ahead. Milwaukee has an opportunity to offer him a five-year super-max contract worth more than $220 million. That would be $80 million more than he could get in free agency from another team on a four-year max deal.

If he elected to bypass that offer, it would up the door to the chatter around trade talk throughout next season as he will be in the final year of his contract. That said, Antetokounmpo has spoken to the Bucks’ ownership to further hammer away the point of the team putting forth a title-contending roster.

The two-time league MVP will have his options available to him in free agency with teams such as the Heat, Toronto Raptors, and Dallas Mavericks. It will be on Milwaukee to prove they can be where he can win an NBA title.