Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard‘s season came to an abrupt end last week. The 28-year-old underwent season-ending surgery after suffering a shoulder injury last month, and will not be able to play until next year.
AP’s Tim Reynolds tweeted that “Leonard has had his surgery. It was successful.” While it’s wonderful news that the operation went well, the injury is a huge blow for Leonard, who only participated in three games this season.
I truly do believe that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. I’m blessed in so many ways and I will come back stronger from this. Thankful for a successful surgery and for everyone’s continued support. 🙏🏼❤️🔨 pic.twitter.com/0GcsHrBW7a
— Meyers Leonard (@MeyersLeonard) February 3, 2021
Knowing he’d be spending the rest of the NBA season rehabbing his shoulder, it appears he decided to upgrade his living situation. On February 8, Biz Journals reported that he purchased a new $7.78 million home in Miami’s Bay Point neighborhood.
Leonard bought the 6,819-square foot mansion with his wife, Elle Leonard. The new home has seven bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, a pool, and a dock with a boat lift, as it’s located along a canal leading to the Intracoastal Waterway.
While the mansion sounds perfect for the 7-foot center, the purchase is raising eyebrows since his contract with the Heat has yet to be renewed. Does putting down permanent roots in Miami mean the Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra has privately confided in Leonard that he’s not going to be traded?
Or perhaps, no conversation about his contract option has been discussed. Maybe Leonard just found his dream home and doesn’t mind using it as his off-season abode if the Heat doesn’t renew his option.
Before the injury, Leonard was averaging 3.3 points on 42.9% shooting on three-pointers and 2.3 rebounds during his three-game appearances, the Miami Herald reported.
The Heat Hold a $10.2 Million Option to Retain Leonard for Next Season
The last time Leonard was on the court was on January 9, during which he first suffered his shoulder injury while playing against the Washington Wizards.
Winderman tweeted on Tuesday, “The Heat are expected to apply for and receive an injured-player exception for Meyers Leonard’s injury, which would be half of his $9.4 million 2020-21 salary.”
The Heat hold a $10.2 million team option to retain Leonard for the 2021-2022 season, as reported by CBS Sports. Leonard was initially acquired by the Heat from the Trail Blazers during the 2019 offseason in exchange for Hassan Whiteside.
Spoelstra Spoke Highly of Leonard Following His Season-Ending Injury, As Did His Teammates
Following Leonard’s surgery on February 3, Spoelstra only had complimentary words to say. “Even as he was coming out of surgery yesterday, he’s texting me,” Spoelstra said. “I was sending him some things, but he’s already reaching out and asking how the film session and team meeting and practice went. He’s awesome. I love him. I love the guy.”
Heat’s veteran guard Goran Dragic said he’s going to miss Leonard while he’s out. “I mean not only on the bench,” Dragic said, who’s currently sidelined with an ankle sprain. “Every day in practice, in the locker room, he was always encouraging guys. He was the most vocal guy on our team. We’re definitely going to miss him.”
“We all have his back,” guard Tyler Herro added. “So whatever Meyers needs, he’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. So I’m just really, prayers to him.”