The Miami Heat are trading PF/C Meyers Leonard to the Oklahoma City Thunder for F Trevor Ariza, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday afternoon. The Heat are also sending the Thunder a 2027 second-round pick in the deal. Leonard must waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to be finalized. Due to recent controversy and Leonard’s indefinite suspension from the Heat, he is not expected to be a part of the Thunder franchise moving forward, per Woj.
ESPN Sources: Oklahoma City is finalizing a trade to send Trevor Ariza to the Miami Heat for Meyers Leonard and a 2027 second-round pick. Leonard must still waive his no-trade clause because of the one-year Bird restriction on his deal, which he’s expected to do for Miami.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 17, 2021
Frankly, Leonard was never going to play for the Heat again and I’d be surprised if he plays at all in the NBA again after what he said on the Twitch stream. It’s not a big deal because he wasn’t a very good basketball player. Ariza has not played in a game this season. He had been sidelined indefinitely due to personal reasons. It’s unclear if Ariza will be joining the Heat during the regular season or playoffs.
This feels a lot like the Heat just dumping Leonard on another team and getting out of the controversy. Miami is expected to make the postseason and try and get back to the NBA Finals. The Thunder, while more competitive than we thought, likely won’t be contenders or make the playoffs. Ariza is a experienced veteran who was once regarded as one of the better 3-and-D wings in the NBA. If healthy, Ariza provides some depth for the Heat. OKC adds another pick later on for nothing basically.