Miami Heat

Mailbag: Just how big of a leap will Heat’s Bam Adebayo make this season?

The Miami Herald Heat mailbag is here to answer your questions.

If you weren’t able to ask this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang). You can also email me at achiang@miamiherald.com.

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Anil: Everyone’s talking about a leap from Bam Adebayo. Do you think Bam can be an All-Star this year or at least warrant consideration?

Anthony Chiang: A leap is certainly expected from Bam Adebayo, as he takes on the full-time role of Heat starting center after Hassan Whiteside was traded this summer. But All-Star status? That might be premature. For now, the expectation is Adebayo will still be in a supporting role with the Heat, albeit an important one.

It’s easy to forget Adebayo is entering his third NBA season and just turned 22 in July. There were only two players that young who made the All-Star Game last season — Ben Simmons and D’Angelo Russell, who were both 22 years old at the time of the 2019 All-Star Game. So it’s not easy to earn the honor that early in a career, especially when Adebayo could be fifth or even further down on the list when it comes Heat players with the highest usage rate this upcoming season behind other offensive options such as Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow.

For now, just enjoy whatever leap Adebayo makes. What does that next step look like? Adebayo told the Miami Herald last month that he envisions a better all-around player averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists per game this upcoming season. If, in fact, Adebayo does hit those numbers, then he probably will get some All-Star consideration. Russell Westbrook, Nikola Jokic, and 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo were the only three players who finished with those averages last season, and each one made the All-Star Game.

Danny: Jimmy Butler just started following Bradley Beal on Instagram. What does it all mean?

Anthony: That Jimmy Butler just started following Bradley Beal on Instagram. This stuff is fun to monitor, but it really doesn’t mean much in the end. Butler also follows other NBA players like JR Smith, Kyle Lowry and James Harden, among many others.

Really, what matters right now when it comes to the Heat-Beal possibility is whether Beal decides to sign an extension with the Wizards before the Oct. 21 deadline. That decision will tell us a little more about Beal’s future plans, as he can opt to pass on an extension with Washington and instead become a free agent in 2021. In other words, pay less attention to Instagram and more attention to the calendar.

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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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