Lakers Steal Miami Heat’s Power Forward in Free Agency: Report

Trevor Ariza

Getty Trevor Ariza #8 of the Miami Heat in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2021.

Trevor Ariza‘s time with the Miami Heat was brief but memorable. The power forward was traded to the Heat on March 17, and while he easily fit in with the starting lineup, the 36-year-old will be moving on to yet another team next season.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first broke the news on Monday that Ariza would be joining LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Woj tweeted, “Free agent F Trevor Ariza has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agents Aaron Mintz, Steven Heumann and Erika Ruiz of @caa_sportstell ESPN.”

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Before Ariza joined the Heat, he was traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 21, and hadn’t played one game due to an ongoing custody battle over his son. CBS Sports said of Ariza on February 7, “Consider him out indefinitely until he informs the Thunder that he’s ready to resume his career.”

Wojnarowski tweeted on March 17, “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.”

Miami Needs a New Power Forward: Markieff Morris?

Markieff Morris miami

GettyMarkieff Morris #88 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his shot in the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on April 10, 2021.

Following the news that Ariza was heading to the Lakers, Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman tweeted, “And there goes the Heat’s playoff starting power forward. So the Heat’s starter now is…”

It’s an important question. Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, however, reported that Miami’s front office is already on the case, and have made an offer to Los Angeles Lakers’ Markieff Morris, 31.

Jackson tweeted, “Per source, Heat has made an offer to Markieff Morris, who has a home in South Florida. He would fill Heat’s power forward role if he takes it. But he has several offers and hasn’t made a decision.”

According to Five Reasons Sports Network’s Greg Sylvander, there were a few offers made before they reached Morris, but they either remained with their current team or accepted other offers. Miami has a $9.5 million exception to find someone to fill the void and join Bam Adebayoo on the frontcourt. The hunt will continue.

Ariza Is the Most Traded Player in the NBA

GettyTrevor Ariza #0 of the Sacramento Kings reacts during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 23, 2019 .

If a deal with the Heat does come to fruition, this would be the 11th time Ariza has been traded. The last NBA game Ariza played was on March 10, 2020 where he scored 22 points as a member of the Portland Trailblazers.

After being traded from the Pistons to the Thunder, Ariza earned the title of being the most traded player in NBA history with a total of 10 trades in his career.

HoopsHype’s Frank Urbana said of the 6-foot-8 forward’s unique record, “Ariza, who holds career averages of 10.5 points and 1.5 steals while shooting 35.2 percent from three, has always been a reliable two-way wing during his time in the NBA – and even has a championship ring to show for his efforts.”

“He simply has had the bad luck of finding himself included in a plethora of deals over the years, and not because his teams couldn’t use him but rather because his salary fit too well in trade packages, or because a playoff team coveted his skill set prior to playoff pushes.”

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