The Heat have been quiet about their plans for Meyers Leonard, though Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel notes that if the big man remains on the roster through the start of the season, he’ll likely be the team’s backup center.
Miami acquired Leonard in a four-way trade over the summer that allowed the team to net Jimmy Butler as well. The Heat cannot aggregate Leonard’s salary in a trade until September 6 — two months after the acquisition date. It’s possible that the team hasn’t been vocal about Leonard’s role because they are planning to flip him. However, at this point, any Leonard trade talk is strictly speculation.
Here’s more from Miami:
- Leonard has privately made it known that he would like to make it work with the Heat, Winderman relays in the same piece. The big man has come off the bench for nearly the entirety of his career, so backing up Bam Adebayo at the five shouldn’t be a major issue.
- Don’t expect the Heat to take a load management approach with Butler, Winderman explains in a separate piece. That could change if Miami is able to clinch a playoff berth early. Yet, with the team making the postseason just once over the past three years, the club may not have the luxury of resting players this season.
- Assuming the team doesn’t make any major moves, Winderman (same piece) anticipates coach Erik Spoelstra will stagger the minutes of Butler, Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters. Winderman expects the Heat to have at least two of the three on the court the majority of the time.