OKC Thunder trade market for Trevor Ariza heating up

The Oklahoma City Thunder are in talks to send forward Trevor Ariza to the Miami Heat for a package centered around a second-round pick according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. However, KOC mentions that “multiple” playoff teams are interested in Ariza’s services.

Trevor Ariza is a 35-year-old forward who did not play in the NBA Bubble last year with Portland aimed family reasons and cited those same reasons for not reporting to the Oklahoma City Thunder this season after being dealt to OKC this offseason. Now, Ariza is working out on his own and awaiting his next trade this time to a contend. It is the annual “Trevor Ariza is the missing piece!” part of the NBA season, grab a drink, celebrate! It should be a National Holiday! Every year, a team thinks that to win an NBA Title they are only a Trevor Ariza away…and they are never just a Trevor Ariza away.

If teams want to trade for a washed-up 34-year-old who is a 35-percent three-point shooter for his career, and who will regress defensively given his age and his need to work back into NBA shape after being off for over a year, have at it! Trevor Ariza has not played in an NBA game since he logged 36-minutes on March 10th, 2020. That is a long delay for the 35-year-old.

Ariza is owed 12.8-million dollars this year and is an expiring contract. The Thunder are looking for any asset in a return for a player they know will never play, and the NBA world knows, they will not buyout. Trevor Ariza represents a free asset. A second-round pick, at best, but still, an asset for literally nothing.

The Miami Heat package is interesting, if the two-teams want to make this a one-for-one swap, the only players that will make the money work as a one-for-one for Miami, are Kelly Olynyk, Meyers Leonard, and Andre Iguodala. Would the Heat really want to part with any of these guys? If the answer is no, they have to make the money up in a different way, and it would take giving out more than one player to only get Trevor Ariza in return.

Thunder fans look at that least and see two guys in Meyers Leonard and Andre Iguodala, who would not even get a Thunder jersey in this trade, and that would be fine! Trevor Ariza has not played either, so earning a second-round pick and also getting a player that still wouldn’t play is still a huge win for OKC!

For Meyers Leonard, after his disgusting, racist, comments last week I do not expect the Thunder to acquire him, but rest assured, if they do, they will immediately cut him. That is the only reason Leonard is still on Miami’s roster because they view his salary as an asset to facilitate a trade. OKC would have the ability to easily cut him.

With Andre Iguodala, after what he pulled in Memphis, I would not expect him to step on the Oklahoma City Thunder hardwood as a member of the Thunder. Iggy is owed 15 million this year, and with his club option that OKC can just decline, he basically represents an expiring deal. After the trade, maybe the sides can come to an agreement on a buy-out, but if not, OKC swaps a player who will not report for a player who will not report and gain a second-round pick.

The interesting note to remember from Kevin O’Connor is the fact that multiple playoff teams remain interested. This could simply be a leak to the rest of the NBA with Sam Presti awaiting team’s final and best offers for the washed-up forward.

Rylan Stiles

Rylan Stiles is the host of the Locked on Thunder podcast, a media member with the Thunder and the NBA, and Founder of BricktownBuckets.com.

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