ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that two former Portland Trail Blazers are being traded for each other, by the Miami Heat and OKC.
OKC / Miami Heat trade involving former Portland Trail Blazers
Wojnarowski is also reporting, “there’s no expectation Leonard will be a part of the Thunder moving forward. Leonard also must still waive his no-trade clause, because of the one-year Bird restriction on his deal.”
Leonard was drafted by Portland in 2012 (12th overall) and a member of the team from 2012-2019. He was traded to Miami in the Hassan Whiteside trade. Leonard underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on February 2.
Ariza was traded to the Blazers before the 2020 trade deadline, appeared in 21 games, and averaged 11 points before “the bubble.” Ariza did not travel with the team to Orlando for what the team called “personal reasons.” This past November, he was traded to Houston as part of the trade that netted Portland Robert Covington. Ariza has yet to appear in a game during 2020-2021, for what is being called “personal reasons.” This trade is the third time since being traded from Portland (Rockets to Pistons, Pistons to Thunder, Thunder to Heat)and an NBA record 11 times in his career.
With Ariza going to Miami, it could mean one less competitor in the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes if Portland were to try and acquire him. The Heat were reportedly interested in the former Blazer and 7-time all-star.
Who do you think got the best of this trade? Especially since neither player has contributed this season, and at this point, likely won’t. Was this a cost-saving move for both? Will Ariza wear a Heat jersey and suit up for them? Or, could he be on the move yet again? Add your thought(s) in the comment section.