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Trevor Ariza’s name has been floated around in trade and buyout rumors for quite some time in 2021. The veteran forward was included in several deals before the start of the season and eventually landed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But he has not appeared in a single game for the team and was, unfortunately, dealing with a custody battle over his son. Questions were there about if he would ever play this season and it appears he will finally make his 2021 debut with the Miami Heat. A Wednesday afternoon Woj bomb revealed the news.
Trevor Ariza heading to Miami for Meyers Leonard
Ariza is heading to Miami and the Oklahoma City Thunder are getting Meyers Leonard and a future second-round pick. However, Meyers is both injured and suspended so, as Woj reports, he will likely be let go right away.
This was a smart move by the Heat and gives them someone who is actually healthy in what was Leonard’s roster spot. The question now is how effective Ariza can be after missing the entirety of the season so far.
The 35-year-old has played all over the NBA and was a starter with Portland during his last game action back in 2020. He does average over 29 minutes per game throughout his career, but would likely be used in a reserve role with the Heat as he works back into the rhythm of actually playing.
Trading Leonard away is not a shocking move given he is out for the season and had a club option for next year. Him reportedly waiving his no-trade clause is an act of goodwill and he can now look to restart his career and repair his reputation elsewhere in 2021 if the Thunder are going to cut him right away as Woj indicates.
The Heat enter play Wednesday sitting in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference. Perhaps Ariza can be the missing link needed to make the Heat favorites to win the conference once again.