Miami acquires a savvy veteran for their playoff push for the second season in a row.
Both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on the proposed trade Wednesday afternoon. Wojnarowski is also reporting that Leonard is waiving his no-trade clause, because of the one-year Bird restriction in his current contract, in order for the deal to go through but he is not expected to be a part of the Thunder team this season.
Once the trade is completed, there’s no expectation that Leonard would be a part of the Thunder moving forward. Deal is expected to be completed today. https://t.co/OXW3dyYiUZ
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 17, 2021
With Ariza the Heat check off a few boxes in terms of need with more size, defense and 3-point shooting. Much like Andre Iguodala did last season after being acquired before the trade deadline, Ariza is another savvy veteran who is capable of raising his game during the postseason.
Leonard was recently fined $50,000 by the NBA for uttering an anti-Semitic slur during a livestream gaming session and has not played since undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in February.
Ariza, 35, is on an expiring $12.8 million contract. He played in 53 games last season for the Sacramento Kings and the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging 8.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He has not played in a NBA game for a year after choosing to opt out of the bubble games last season in order to spend time with his son. In his last game on March 10, 2020, he scored 22 points on 5-8 shooting from deep, 7-12 overall, and pulled down six rebounds in 37 minutes of action.
The deal should be completed by today. As this is a breaking news story, we will update with any new information as it comes in.