MIAMI - The Miami Heat announced Wednesday they have exercised their fourth-year team option on center Bam Adebayo.
The move locks Adebayo into a $5.1 million salary for 2020-21, after he will earn $3.5 million this coming season on the final year of his rookie-scale contract.
The commitment for 2020-21 reduces the significant amount of salary-cap space the Heat are expected to have during the 2020 offseason, when the contracts of Dion Waiters, James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk expire.
The commitment also shows the Heat's long-term plans with Adebayo, who will become a free agent in the 2021 offseason if an extension is not negotiated during next summer's window. Adebayo took over as the Heat's starting center late last season, with the Heat subsequently trading former starting center Hassan Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Heat had until Oct. 31 to make the decision on Adebayo, but instead made him the first player from his first-round draft class to have his option picked up.
Adebayo, who was selected No. 14 in the 2017 draft, was the lone Heat player to appear in all 82 games last season, averaging 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 23.3 minutes, shooting a team-high .576 from the field.
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Among NBA players last season, he ranked 29th in total rebounds, tied for 31st in offensive rebounds, 32nd in defensive rebounds, 40th in rebounds per game and 40th in blocks.
He scored a career-high 22 points at Phoenix on Dec. 7 and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds at Toronto on Nov. 25 off the bench, which marked the most by a reserve on the road in franchise history. He also became the youngest player, at 21, in Heat history to record at least 20 rebounds in a game and the youngest player in the NBA to achieve the feat over the last 35 years.
On Dec. 28 vs. Cleveland, Adebayo shot 8 of 8 from the field and 2 of 2 from the foul line, becoming the first player in team history to be perfect from both the field and at the line with at least that many attempts. Additionally, he shot 6 of 6 from the field on Nov. 14 at Brooklyn in 10:04, marking the most field goals without a miss in 10 minutes or less in team history.
In all, Adebayo posted 11 double-doubles last season and led the team in rebounds 20 times.
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