Heat big man Meyers Leonard is set to reach unrestricted free agency at the end of the season, but the 28-year-old is comfortable with his current situation in Miami, he explained this week.
Leonard, who was acquired by the Heat in July of 2019, was set to make $11.2MM and has started in all 49 of his games with the team this season.
“I’m in a good place here in Miami,” Leonard said on a podcast with John Canzano of The Oregonian, as relayed by the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “I really feel as though I help Jimmy (Butler) and Bam (Adebayo) in a lot of ways. I space the floor, I give them opportunities to attack driving lanes and get out in transition. Again, I don’t mind taking the physical demand. I don’t mind boxing out every single time. If the ball comes to me, fine. If we get it, that’s great and that’s what I want.”
Leonard is among multiple Heat players set to reach free agency this summer, along with Goran Dragic, Jae Crowder, Derrick Jones Jr., Udonis Haslem and Solomon Hill. Kelly Olynyk holds a player option worth $13.2MM for the following season.
Leonard has fit in seamlessly with the Heat, spreading the floor alongside Adebayo while shouldering some of the workload on the glass. He’s averaging 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 20.1 minutes per contest, shooting an impressive 43% from deep.
There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:
- Wizards guard Troy Brown is looking to improve his lateral quickness in order to defend smaller guards next season, as relayed by Fred Katz of The Athletic. “The thing I want to work on this offseason is definitely to keep on improving my 3-point shooting and then just working on my lateral quickness and guarding small point guards,” Brown wrote.
- In his latest mailbag for the Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman ponders whether Jae Crowder could become more valuable for the Heat than Andre Iguodala. Miami traded for both players in February, sending away the likes of Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Dion Waiters to Memphis in exchange for the duo.
- Chris Kirschner of The Athletic examines which Hawks players might return in free agency for next season. Jeff Teague, Treveon Graham and Vince Carter (retirement) are all slated to become unrestricted free agents, with DeAndre’ Bembry, Skal Labissiere and Damian Jones set to enter restricted free agency.