MIAMI – The Miami Heat have turned Meyers Leonard’s contract into an opportunity to see if Trevor Ariza can help them for the rest of this season.

And for their trouble, the Oklahoma City Thunder got yet another draft pick.

Leonard – who had likely played his final game for the Heat, even before drawing widespread criticism for using an anti-Semitic term while live streaming a video game earlier this month – was traded last week to the Thunder in exchange for Ariza and a second-round pick in the 2027 draft.

“Meyers was a key part of our team that made a run to the NBA Finals and we will always be grateful for his contributions and leadership last season,” the Heat said in the statement announcing the trade. “His recent comments were very hurtful and disappointing, but, we are encouraged that he has spent this last week meeting with community leaders, rabbis and Holocaust survivors to greater understand the impact of his words and we hope that his education will continue.”

The Heat also said they wish Leonard and his wife Elle “the best of luck in the future.”

“He’s going to do everything that he possibly can to grow and get better from everything this week,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We appreciate his time with us.”

The Thunder have no plans to keep Leonard, and may either trade him in the coming days or simply elect to not pick up his $10.2 million option for next season. He “will not be an active member of the organization,” the team said.

Leonard needed to sign off on the trade because of his contract status and did so quickly, according to a person who was familiar with the negotiations leading up to the swap being finalized. He had been away from the Heat for more than a week after a video surfaced of him using the slur.

He apologized for the incident, which was roundly criticized by the Heat, Jewish groups, other athletes and celebrities. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Leonard $50,000 and barred him from being around the Heat for one week. The team had previously said Leonard would be away from the team indefinitely.

Silver has said that he believes Leonard “is genuinely remorseful” for using the slur.

“Meyers Leonard’s comment was inexcusable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society,” Silver said last week.

Leonard’s mandate from the league to participate in a cultural diversity program will remain in place. He has already met with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish organization that works to stop extremism and delivers anti-bias education.

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