Heat Star Bam Adebayo Reveals He Almost Got Traded to Minnesota

Bam Adebayo

Getty Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat looks on during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at FTX Arena on February 26, 2022.

It’s hard to imagine the Miami Heat without their core duo of Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, and because both All-Stars are signed to max contract extensions, no one has to worry about that for the foreseeable future.

However, Adebayo revealed while appearing on J.J. Redick’s The Old Man and the Three podcast on Saturday, April 9, that that permanency didn’t always exist. The 24-year-old center, who was drafted by the Heat as their No. 14 overall pick in 2017, said he was nearly traded for Butler before the start of his sophomore year in the NBA.

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“You heard the Minnesota situation,” Adebayo told Redick. “And it’s crazy, because I almost got traded for Jimmy, to Minnesota.”

The Kentucky alum struggled during his first year in the league, averaging 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Adebayo noted that if it wasn’t for Heat president Pat Riley, he would’ve been sent to play for the Timberwolves in 2018.

“Pat wouldn’t trade me,” Adebayo said. “Like he was, ‘Nah, I see something good in this kid.’ Yadda, yadda, yadda. And, at that point, I’m sweating bullets. Like, I’m not trying to be traded. I like it in Miami. It’s warm. I kind of got my feet wet. I’m familiar with the place.”

Riley’s instincts were right about the young center, who’s now one of the most disruptive defenders in the league. During the 2021-22 NBA season, Adebayo is a candidate to be the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, averaging 19.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.

While Adebayo remained in Miami, Butler was ultimately sent to the Philadelphia 76ers on November 12, 2018, in exchange for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. The six-time All-Star eventually made his way to the Heat via a sign-and-trade deal during the 2019 offseason.

Adebayo Admits Butler Is an A******

While Butler has a reputation of being an a******, Adebayo confirmed the rumor while appearing on Redick’s podcast — however, the 6-foot-9 center says it with a smile on his face.

“We kinda embraced who Jimmy was. We knew Jimmy was an a**hole at the end of the day. We all know that. But, like, this culture embraces that,” Adebayo said. “We want you to bring that a******ness out so then on the court we got all five people that are like dogs. We want all five of y’all to be a******* cause at that point, y’all not gonna take no s*** and we not backing down from anybody.”

Butler’s temper was on full display three weeks ago, when he got into an altercation on the sidelines with Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and team captain Udonis Haslem needed to be physically held back from attacking the 32-year-old wing.

Adebayo, however, was not all worried about the incident. “This is us in practice; it just so happened that it boiled like this in the game,” he said. “In practice, we get like that to that point where like it looks like we want to fight each other when we get that mad, but it’s just the competitive nature that we have on this team.”

The Heat Enter the Playoffs as the No. 1 Seed

While Heat culture isn’t for everybody, Miami’s current roster, led by Adebayo, Butler, and point guard Kyle Lowry, has put together one of the most impressive campaigns in franchise history.

The Heat, who’ve already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs, enter their final regular-season game on Sunday, April 10 with a 53-28 record.

The Heat’s last tilt is against the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. ET.

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