The latest trade report linking the Miami Heat to veteran NBA player Trevor Ariza has left many befuddled. While the Heat have been associated with numerous free agents over the past few weeks, Ariza being thrown into the mix comes as quite the surprise.
Ariza, 35, who after being traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 21, has not played at all this season 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.”
According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, that day has come. However, the UCLA alum would not remain in Oklahoma City if he suits up again, he’d be taking his talents to South Beach.
ALL the latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
On March 16, O’Connor tweeted, “Sources: The Heat and Thunder are discussing a trade that’d send Trevor Ariza to Miami. OKC is seeking a second round pick for Ariza from the numerous playoff teams with interest.”
It’s not yet clear if the swingman will receive a buyout from the Thunder, or the team will keep Ariza at his $12.8 million salary this season.
Ariza Is the Most Traded Player in the NBA
NBA Central tweeted out a photo posted by The Miami Perimeter’s Instagram account on Tuesday which showed that Ariza was already in South Beach working out. 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.”
Does Ariza Make Sense in Miami?
The most troubling issue with the Heat possibly acquiring Ariza is that such a trade doesn’t make logical sense. The Heat are searching for a big forward to play opposite All-Star Bam Adebayo, a reliable fourth, or both. Ariza doesn’t exactly fulfill either of those needs.
A trade could be done if the Thunder is willing to take on Meyers Leonard and accept the one and only 2nd rounder the Heat have in 2022. But it seems like a weird use of Miami’s limited trade capital.