Heat say they are working with Adebayo to finalize extension

MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat are working on a contract extension, the team said Tuesday.

Once the deal is finalized, Adebayo — when factoring in his current salary — would be guaranteed at least $168 million over the next six seasons and perhaps as much as $200 million in that span.

Adebayo will make $5.1 million this season, the final year of his rookie contract. From there, the extension will kick in with a starting salary of somewhere around $28.1 million for the 2021-22 season. And if he makes an All-NBA team this season, something he narrowly missed doing this past season, his annual salary would only rise more.

The Heat had until Dec. 21 to agree with Adebayo on an extension this season, or else would have had to table the matter until next summer. Miami has said the team’s intention was to give Adebayo a new deal — the question was only when. By waiting until next summer, the Heat would have had more salary-cap flexibility.

Adebayo is coming off, by far, the best season of his career. He was an All-Star for the first time, won the skills competition at All-Star weekend, had the game-saving block of a Jayson Tatum dunk attempt in the final seconds of Miami’s Game 1 over Boston in the Eastern Conference finals and made the NBA’s All-Defensive team.

When this deal is done, he’ll become the fourth member of the 2017 NBA draft class to secure a max extension, the others being Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.

Adebayo averaged 15.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists this past season. Only one other player in the league had those numbers — two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. And no player in Heat history ever finished a season with those averages in all three categories, until Adebayo.

He told The Associated Press during the NBA’s restart earlier this summer at Walt Disney World that his lone financial goal is to take care of his mother, Marilyn Blount. She raised him by herself in North Carolina, making about $15,000 a year from her multiple jobs and with them calling a single-wide trailer their home.

“That competitive nature comes out when I feel like I’m playing bad and when things aren’t going right,” Adebayo said in the September interview with AP. “I think about how she fought through struggle. … You see that for 18 years straight, you take that load on and feel that responsibility. And my responsibility is to provide for my mom, and the best way to make sure I can do that is to help us win.”

He’s about to be set for many lifetimes, money to never be a worry again.

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