Report: Miami Heat likely to keep ‘valuable trade chip' Meyers Leonard - Heat Nation

Report: Miami Heat likely to keep ‘valuable trade chip’ Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard Miami Heat

The prospect of the Miami Heat’s Meyers Leonard being traded before the trade deadline is reportedly slim, though one report indicates that his potentially expiring contract makes him a “valuable trading chip.”

John Hollinger of The Athletic looked at a variety of NBA topics and noted that Leonard, though unable to help the Heat on the court, could possibly help them in a trade with another team.

“With the news that Miami’s Meyers Leonard will be out for the season due to shoulder surgery, expect Miami to apply for and (eventually) receive a disabled player exception,” Hollinger wrote. “It would be worth $4.7 million. The Heat are likely to keep Leonard at least through the trade deadline, as his contract ($9.4 million with a team option for next season) can be a valuable trade chip as a de facto expiring deal.”

Leonard’s 2020-21 campaign came to a halt after playing in just three games because of continuing shoulder issues, which resulted in season-ending surgery.

After being acquired prior to the 2019-20 season from the Portland Trail Blazers, Leonard ended up starting 49 of his 51 games on the year. While his statistical numbers were low for the year, he was part of the Heat squad that reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014.

The team option in his contract allows any team that might think of acquiring him to not pick up next season’s part of the deal and potentially use that saved payroll in free agency.

For now, the Heat will remain patient as they try and bounce back from their slow start. On Tuesday night, the Heat hosts the New York Knicks, the team they defeated on Sunday, 109-103, at Madison Square Garden.

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