Much like Andre Iguodala did last season in Memphis, veteran wing Trevor Ariza has been on the Oklahoma City roster all season long but away from the team. Ariza has been waiting for the team to trade him.
He may not have to wait much longer. The Miami Heat are interested, reports Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer.
Sources: The Heat and Thunder are discussing a trade that’d send Trevor Ariza to Miami. OKC is seeking a second round pick for Ariza from the numerous playoff teams with interest.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) March 17, 2021
This Ariza trade rumor leaked out for one of two reasons. One is that a deal between the Heat and Thunder is close (Miami would still have to match Ariza’s $12.8 million salary, which it could do by trading Meyers Leonard and a pick to OKC, if the Thunder would take on Leonard).
The other reason this may have leaked: To try and light a fight under other interested teams to create a bidding war. With more than a week until the trade deadline, this is a good bet.
While he may have lost half-a-step at age 35, Ariza is still a solid “3&D” wing who shot 37.2% from deep last season. He would provide a playoff-bound team depth during the regular season and help with specific matchups in a playoff series. He’s got value.
Expect Ariza to be traded before the deadline next week. Miami may be the frontrunner, but don’t be shocked if another team surfaces in the coming days.