Miami Heat Urged to Trade for $158 Million Star Who Fits Bam Adebayo ‘Timeline’

Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo

Getty Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo

The Miami Heat already are in some dire straits and the NBA playoffs are only three days old. There’s still time, but the Celtics delivered a humbling 20-point drubbing in Game 1 in Boston, and did so by burying the Heat under a wave of 3-pointers. The Heat’s defense was stretched too thin trying to defend the arc—Boston tied a franchise high with 22 makes from the 3-point line—and there was not much evidence that the Heat can slow the Celtics’ high-powered offense.

Oh, and Jimmy Butler is all but certain to miss the entire playoff series with a knee injury, yet another hindrance for the already hobbled Heat offense.

Should the Heat bow out of the playoffs in the first round this year, after last season’s magical run from the play-in to the NBA Finals, it might finally be time for president Pat Riley to get serious about changing the star landscape of the team. The Butler-Bam Adebayo-Tyler Herro trio may well have gone as far as it can go.

As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said recently, “I think Miami will be in a position again to use the assets they have to go out and get another All-Star-level player that maybe connects more on the timeline of Bam Adebayo and his age.”

At Bleacher Report, they’re suggesting adding a new star to the mix, a player who is on the same career trajectory as Adebayo, who needs to take the reins as the team’s future cornerstone. That player: Pelicans star Brandon Ingram.

Miami Heat Could Offer Tyler Herro Package

Ingram is a player with star ability, who has put up one All-Star season, in his first season with the Pelicans back in 2019-20, when he was one of the main pieces the Lakers traded to New Orleans for Anthony Davis. But since then, Ingram has struggled to stay healthy, missing nearly 30% of the Pelicans’ games in that time (225 out of 318 games).

After averaging a career-high 24.7 points last year, he dropped to 20.8 points this year.

But that, according to B/R’s Zack Buckley, should only help the case. The Miami Heat have limited assets available, and trading for a dented can like Ingram—and hoping he can stay healthy—might be their best course of action.

“The fact Ingram isn’t a top-tier star also likely helps the Heat, who aren’t overloaded with trade assets. They should have enough for him, though, especially if there are fans of Tyler Herro in the Pelicans front office. A package of Herro, a young player (Nikola Jović or Jaime Jaquez Jr.) and an unprotected future first-round pick should at least merit a call back,” he wrote.

Brandon Ingram Hits Free Agency in 2025

It’s a lot to shell out for Ingram, if the Miami Heat are not certain he will stay healthy. But if they are willing to take the gamble, Ingram could be the versatile scoring wing the Heat have been looking for. He is not a natural power forward, but with Adebayo manning the inside, Ingram could certainly handle some minutes at the 4—he is 6-foot-8, after all.

One issue for the Heat, though, is what they may have to shell out for Ingram in an extension or a new contract. He is signed in 2024-25 for $36 million, the final year of a five-year, $158 million contract he signed in 2020.

While Ingram has been eligible for a three-year, $147 million extension this year, he and the Pels have had no discussions on a new deal. The Heat might be inclined to wait until 2025 free agency to secure Ingram, should they deal for him.

And a deal makes some sense. As Buckley wrote:

“He’s the same age as Adebayo (26), and he’s a skilled enough scorer and secondary playmaker to get Miami’s offense, which ranked 21st in efficiency, out of the mud. He could conceivably become available if an early playoff exit propels the Pelicans to rethink the Ingram-Zion Williamson tandem.”

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