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Heat executive assesses Adebayo

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Can Adebayo become more than just a backup center?

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson interviewed Heat vice president of player personnel Chet Kammerer, who helped Pat Riley decide to draft Bam Adebayo with the 14th pick in last June’s NBA Draft. And Kammerer had some insight into how Adebayo will play this season.

Of note, Kammerer said that the Heat coaching staff has prioritized the rookie’s shooting around the rim as opposed to his long-range shooting.

Kammerer said that Heat coaches this summer worked “really hard to help him become efficient around the basket. We want him to shoot the ball from the perimeter down the road but we also want him to become efficient around the basket with his left or right hook.”

Kammerer also said that Adebayo “could be a backup five” and invoked Al Horford as a comparison. That would seem to be a bit of a disappointment for Adebayo — what was the point of using a lottery pick on someone who is only going to be a backup center? The Heat already invested in Hassan Whiteside as a franchise cornerstone.

The Heat head scout highlighted Adebayo’s defensive versatility.

He can defend fours [power forwards] and fives [centers] at this point. For a man that has a great body, he has good feet and that’s so crucial defending the ball. Down the road, he will be able to switch onto players and stay in front of them.”

That’s a good sign. It would just be good if Adebayo can become as versatile offensively — with a nice shooting touch and the ability to play with Whiteside, not just substituting for him — as he is defensively.