Welcome to Miami, Trevor Ariza, good-bye Meyers Leonard.
Today, the Miami Heat announced that they had acquired forward Trevor Ariza from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Meyers Leonard and a 2027 second-round draft selection.
The deal also generated a trade exception for the Thunder.
Leonard, who was fined $50,000 for an anti-Semitic slur by the NBA last week, had to waive the no-trade clause on his two-year contract, which included a team option for 2021-22 — that will be declined as part of a procedural matter in completing the deal.
“Meyers was a key part of our team that made a run to the NBA Finals, and we will always be grateful for his contributions and leadership last season.” The Heat said in a statement. “His recent comments were very hurtful and disappointing, but, we are encouraged that he has spent this last week meeting with community leaders, Rabbis and Holocaust survivors to greater understand the impact of his words and we hope that his education will continue. We wish Meyers and Elle the best of luck in the future.”
Ariza will have to shake off some rust. At age 35, he is a versatile and accomplished wing player for the second-half playoff push for Miami. Ariza hasn’t played a game in a year, opting out of the Orlando restart for family considerations as a Portland Trail Blazers player.
“He is everything the Miami Heat organization, players is about.” Jimmy Butler stated. “Hardnose play defense. Make shots get everybody involved. A Team first type of guy. Can’t wait to get in the lab with him.”
Oklahoma City acquired Ariza as part of a three-team offseason deal with Detroit and Dallas. In one week, Ariza was traded from Portland to Houston to Detroit to Oklahoma City.
“He backs down from no challenge, no matter who you are, great at playing the passing lanes, he is a smart vet,” Butler added. “I know I can learn from him and so many other people on this roster.
Ariza is on a $12.8 million expiring contract.
Ariza has averaged 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists for his career in 16 seasons.
Ariza has been traded 11 times, the most in NBA history, according to Statmuse.