Mailbag: How will summer league Bam Adebayo adjust to his regular-season role with the Heat?

MIAMI — As the Heat wait on Gordon Hayward’s free-agent decision, Bam Adebayo flashed a glimpse of his NBA potential Monday.

Miami’s first-round pick recorded 29 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in a 86-83 loss to the Pacers at the Orlando Summer League. But is this the type of play we can expect from Bam even when the regular season begins?

We answer that question and more in the latest installment of the Heat mailbag. If you weren’t able to ask a question this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44).

Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo dunks the ball over Indiana Pacers’ T.J. Leaf, back left, during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Monday, July 3, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

@DrJayOrtiz: Do you see Bam Adebayo transitioning into the big stage as well as he transitioned into the summer league games?

Anthony Chiang: Bam has opened some eyes at the Orlando Summer League. He’s averaging 19.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks through three games. But it’s also important to remember that Bam’s role will be different when the real games begin. The 19-year-old is averaging 15 shots per contest in Orlando. Bam will be lucky if he averages half of that number in the regular season. When playing alongside guys like Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, Bam is not going to be on the court for his offense. Instead, he’ll be asked to be a rebounder and strong versatile defender off the Heat’s bench. In other words, don’t expect Bam to average a double-double as a rookie. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Bam’s summer league flashes. He’s showing off his athleticism with some Eurostep finishes, and he’s showing off his shooting touch with a solid free-throw percentage. Most importantly, Bam is showing the potential to become a quality NBA player.

@desmond0520: Would it be a better idea for the Heat to try and pick up a marquee free agent in next year’s free-agent class as opposed to maxing out Gordon Hayward?

Anthony Chiang: I understand this thought process. I really do, especially when the list of 2018 free agents could include LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Paul George, Russell Westbrook and LaMarcus Aldridge. But when a player like Gordon Hayward is considering you as his free-agent destination, you have to pursue it. If the Heat miss out on Gordon, then they should keep next year’s free-agent class in mind when turning to Plan B this offseason. But there’s one thing the Heat have proved over the years. If the Heat want a player in free agency, they will find a way to make the money work. So even if Miami is capped out next summer, there are still ways to create some room if a star is interested in signing with the Heat.

[Gordon Hayward’s Free Agency Tour ends Monday; Heat, Celtics, Jazz await decision]

[Could a weakened Eastern Conference push Gordon Hayward away from the Jazz?]

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