Miami Heat

Heat’s Bam Adebayo accepts invitation to join Team USA roster for World Cup

Spoelstra: “This season without question would be the growth of our young players”

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talks to the media during the season-ending press conference at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Friday April 12, 2019 in Miami.
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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talks to the media during the season-ending press conference at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Friday April 12, 2019 in Miami.

There’s been a schedule change in Bam Adebayo’s offseason.

The 22-year-old Heat center has accepted an invitation to join Team USA training camp for the FIBA World Cup tournament in China, according to a source.

Numerous roster spots on Team USA have opened in recent weeks, as players such as Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Tobias Harris, James Harden, Eric Gordon, CJ McCollum, and Bradley Beal withdrew. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart from the Celtics, Montrezl Harrell from the Clippers, Mason Plumlee from the Nuggets, Julius Randle from the Knicks, Thaddeus Young from the Bulls, and now Adebayo are the newest names on the roster.

Also on the national roster: Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum from the Celtics; Kyle Lowry from the Raptors; Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez from the Bucks; Harrison Barnes from the Kings; Andre Drummond from the Pistons; Kyle Kuzma from the Lakers; Donovan Mitchell from the Jazz; P.J. Tucker from the Rockets; and Myles Turner from the Pacers.

With the addition of Adebayo, Team USA now features 18 players (unless there any more additions or subtractions, which is possible) competing for 12 spots on the team that will represent the country at the World Cup.

Team USA, which will be coached by Gregg Popovich, will begin training camp in Las Vegas on Aug. 5. The World Cup will be held in China from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15.

But Adebayo isn’t the only Heat big man who could be competing in the World Cup, as Kelly Olynyk is set to represent Canada in the tournament.

Adebayo averaged 8.9 points on 57.6 percent shooting, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 23.3 minutes while playing in all 82 of the Heat’s games last season. With Miami trading center Hassan Whiteside to Portland this month as part of the four-team Jimmy Butler deal, Adebayo is expected to be the clear-cut choice at starting center.

Adebayo is entering his third NBA season. The Heat drafted him with the 14th overall pick in 2017.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.
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