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Meyers Leonard reveals 2 crucial things he’s looking for to return to the Miami Heat
- Updated: October 30, 2020
As an unrestricted free agent, Leonard knows that he has to decide soon, considering that the 2020-21 NBA season could begin as early as Dec. 22. In an interview with Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, Leonard revealed the two things he’s looking for in free agency.
“I personally will just say that what I’m looking for and I’m hopeful for is a significant role, say 20 to 25 minutes per game whether that’s starting or coming off the bench, and I just want to win,” Leonard said. “Everyone, I guess, you would say has to think about the financial component of a contract and everything like that. But the truth of it is, I want to win and I just want to have a significant role.
“But if I had to take my pick, I do think it makes sense here in Miami. Now, I guess I’d say that I do have to have a very open conversation with [team president] Pat [Riley] and [coach Erik Spoelstra], and say: ‘Look, I want to play and I want to have a role on a team that wins.’ I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I would come back to Miami because I loved it so much that I’m willing to sit on the bench. I won’t do that. Certainly, everything has to be earned. I’m well aware of that, and that’s what I did coming into Miami. There just has to be an open and transparent conversation, but those are conversations that I’m very comfortable having.”
Leonard has a chance to continue winning with the Heat, who reached the Finals last season. Unfortunately for the 28-year-old big man, his wish for a significant role on the team he will sign with may not come true in a Heat uniform if last season’s playoffs will be the barometer.
He was on the floor an average of 20.3 minutes per game during the 2019-20 regular season, his first year with the Heat. But in the playoffs, his minutes were cut in half at only 10.3 minutes a night.
Leonard was only able to play in the Finals after Bam Adebayo suffered an injury that kept him from playing in Games 2 and 3.
Even though the Heat did not give him the minutes that he wanted in the postseason, Leonard was often animated on the bench as he cheered wildly for his teammates.
The fact that he enjoyed his time with the Heat last season should play a huge part when decision time comes for the eight-year veteran.