Trevor Ariza will be traded to the Miami Heat
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, an ESPN Senior NBA Insider, the trade has been finalized.
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
Leonard has hardly played in the 2020-21 NBA season. He has only played in three games and started in two of those games. He is currently averaging 3.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. His stats are much better in the 2019-20 NBA season, where he averaged 6.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. This is while Ariza has not played since the 2019-20 NBA season. In that season, he averaged 8.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
This trade could have been triggered by Leonard’s anti-Semitic slur according to Tim Reynolds of CBC. As a result, Leonard was fined $50K US by the NBA. Miami gave a public statement saying that Leonard will indefinitely be away from the team because of his actions.
In the grand scheme of things, this trade can benefit both the Thunder and the Heat. It also shows the position that Oklahoma City is in terms of where they stand in the NBA.
Miami Heat-Oklahoma City Trade Overview
What the Thunder are going to gain is another NBA draft pick. This is not surprising as the Thunder have numerous draft picks coming up. This includes getting five first-round draft picks from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Paul George according to the NBA. With exciting players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort, the Thunder are building a great young nucleus.
Unfortunately, for Leonard, this trade is not good news according to Wojnarowski. The Thunder plan to waive him once the trade is confirmed. This could be because of Leonard’s anti-Semitic slur that caused him to be fined by the NBA.
Ariza, a small forward/shooting guard can play a role for the Heat. This is especially true if their star player Jimmy Butler gets injured. However, if Ariza is to make an impact on the Heat it will most likely come from the 2021-22 NBA season instead of the 2020-21 NBA season. Ariza is not in game shape yet and will need time to be back to the player he was in the 2019-20 NBA season.
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