Meyers Leonard Thinks Tenure With Miami Heat Could Be Long Term'
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Meyers Leonard may only be renting Hassan Whiteside’s home for the time being, but the Miami Heat forward believes his time with the team could extend beyond the 2019-20 season.

Leonard is in the final year of the four-year, $41 million contract that he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2016. Despite the uncertainty that comes with having an expiring deal, he feels confident about staying in South Beach for much longer than just this season.

“We were looking, my wife and I, at the rental market, really,” Leonard said. “And we couldn’t decide. First of all, you never know what happens with the contract, short term. Now, all of a sudden, we feel like things can be long term.”

Though he didn’t mention any particular reason for his confidence on why he believes the Heat will retain him next season and beyond, Leonard may be looking at two things in his favor. First, he has started in every game for the Heat this season, and second, his 19.6 minutes per game is his highest since the 2015-16 season.

Both are indications that Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has confidence in the 7-foot center who is averaging 7.3 points per game and shooting an impressive 61.7 percent from the field.

Whiteside, the former Heat big man who was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers as Leonard landed in Miami this offseason, allowed Leonard and his wife to lease his home since it was going to be empty for a year.

If things fall into place as he envisions it, Leonard might end up getting his own home in Miami very soon.

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Omar is a freelance writer who has followed the NBA for more than 30 years. Prior to the Internet, he devoured every reading material he could find on the game from newspaper articles to books and magazines. He became a Heat fan the moment they acquired Tim Hardaway and his killer crossover, and lamented not seeing him and Alonzo Mourning win a championship. Seeing Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh play in Miami was a surreal moment for him and more so after they validated the Decision with back-to-back championships. He is ecstatic to cover Miami basketball for Heat Nation.