The Oklahoma City Thunder is finalizing a trade to send forward Trevor Ariza to the Miami Heat for forward Meyers Leonard and a 2027 second-round pick, sources told ESPN.
Once the transaction is completed through a business call with the NBA office Wednesday afternoon, there are no expectations that Leonard will be part of the Thunder in the future, sources said.
Ariza, 35, offers Miami a versatile and accomplished wing for its Eastern Conference playoff push. Ariza hasn’t played a game in a year, opting out of the Orlando restart due to family considerations as a member of the Trail Blazers.
Leonard, who was fined $ 50,000 by the NBA for an anti-Semitic slur last week, had to waive the no-trade clause in his two-year contract, which included a team option for 2021-22, to be rejected as part. of a procedural matter to complete the deal.
Leonard, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in February, agreed to facilitate the deal as a good faith gesture to the Heat organization, where he has played since arriving in a Portland trade in 2019.
The key to the deal for Oklahoma City was amassing another future draft pick. Oklahoma City traded for another 2027 second-round pick last week in a deal with Detroit. Oklahoma City has accumulated 17 first-round picks and 15 second-round picks through the 2027 draft. The expectation is that Oklahoma City will keep Leonard under contract until the March 25 trade deadline in case there is a chance to use his contract in another transaction, sources said.
Since his comments on March 8, Leonard has been working with the Jewish community in South Florida, the sources said. He will continue to rehabilitate his shoulder and train in the area.
Oklahoma City acquired Ariza as part of a three-team offseason deal with Detroit and Dallas. In a single week, Ariza was traded from Portland to Houston, from Detroit to Oklahoma City.
Ariza has an expiring contract for $ 12.8 million.
After starting the season with Sacramento a year ago, Ariza was traded to the Trail Blazers, where he averaged 11 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21 starts. Ariza has averaged 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his career in 16 seasons.