The Miami Heat have been linked to over a dozen trade deals over the past few weeks, but the franchise is no longer just talking about making moves, they’re making them happen.
It’s time for a big South Beach welcome for Oklahoma City Thunder’s Trevor Ariza.
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.”
ESPN’s Adrian 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.”
ALL the latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
“Once the trade is completed, there’s no expectation that [Meyers] Leonard would be a part of the Thunder moving forward,” Woj added. “Deal is expected to be completed today.”
Following the news of the Heat’s new trade deal, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweeted, “The Thunder will create a $3.4M trade exception as part of the deal. The Heat are $5.4M below the luxury tax/$10.6M below the hard cap and have until Monday to use a $7.53M trade exception.”
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor first reported that the UCLA alum would not remain in Oklahoma City if he suits up again, but that he would be taking his talents to South Beach. On March 16, O’Connor tweeted, “Sources: The Heat and Thunder are discussing a trade that’d send Trevor Ariza to Miami.”
For those wondering why the Heat made a trade for Ariza, burning their disabled player contract money without fully knowing their options, Miami could already have another deal up their sleeves.
Ariza Is the Most Traded Player in the NBA
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.”