Heat Trade Rumors: Rudy Gay Preferred by Some in Miami over Trevor Ariza

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 18, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The Blazers won 121-105. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Steve Dykes/Associated Press

Some members within the Miami Heat organization preferred to trade for San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay as opposed to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Trevor Ariza, who was dealt to South Beach on Wednesday for a package that included a draft pick and Heat big man Meyers Leonard.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald provided more details, noting the Spurs and Heat talked about Gay but were unable to agree to terms:

"According to a source in touch with the Heat, one reason the Heat jumped on the Trevor Ariza trade—instead of waiting until closer to the deadline to make a move—was because of an inability to agree on trade compensation for San Antonio's Rudy Gay or P.J. Tucker, who was dealt from Houston to Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Spurs asked for more than what the Heat was willing to give for Gay, who was the preferred choice of some internally, the source said."

Gay, 34, has averaged 10.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game for the Spurs. He has also hit 37.9 percent of his three-pointers.

Ariza, 35, has not played for the Thunder this season. He was listed as out for personal reasons for the team's 2020-21 opener against the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 26, and there wasn't much word on him until March.

However, the Heat tweeted that the team is hoping Ariza is available for games this weekend. The Heat also noted that he'd been in NBA testing protocols prior to the move.

Miami has a two-game series at home against the Indiana Pacers on Friday and Sunday.

Ariza averaged 8.0 points on 43.8 percent shooting and 4.6 rebounds for the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers in 2019-20. He opted out of the season restart following the pandemic-induced suspension because of a family matter.

Ariza's next time on the court will mark the beginning of his 17th NBA season. He joins a Heat team that has won 11 of its past 13 games to improve to 22-19.