Lakers Are Pursuing Suns’ Trevor Ariza, Rumored To Have “At Least 8 Teams” Interested
According to several reports, however, the Lakers are nowhere close to a deal, as the team has Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a bench player to offer as collateral.
Phoenix and Los Angeles have both engaged in trade discussions that involve sending Pope to a third team, as the Suns are asking for a “playmaking” point guard and a draft pick in return for Ariza. Ariza signed a $15 million deal with Phoenix this offseason after a stint with the Houston Rockets and would be a valuable asset at the wing to a team in need of shooting depth such as Los Angeles.
Many NBA fans reportedly began Photoshopping Ariza into a Lakers jersey shortly after the news broke:
There are already a lot of photoshops of Trevor Ariza in a Lakers jersey, it turns out. pic.twitter.com/yJ76CcOJw4
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) December 10, 2018
One of the big reasons the Lakers went from a fringe playoff team to a championship contender in 2008 was trading for Trevor Ariza. His absence is also a big reason why the Rockets have from from championship contenders to whatever they are now. This would be a huge addition. https://t.co/0saRA4taVW
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 10, 2018
The Lakers, in desperate need for such depth at the wing, could use Ariza should they find themselves in the postseason in a cutthroat Western Conference. An elite defender on the perimeter, Ariza can provide rigidity to a young Lakers core that has struggled with Caldwell-Pope, who hasn’t been the defender Ariza has proved to be. Both the contracts of Caldwell-Pope and Ariza expire at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 season, so an upgrade at the position is something the Lakers can benefit from at a low risk.
Ariza, who is averaging 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists this season, is undergoing to the worst stretch of his career. This is due in part to his abysmal Suns teammates, who have lost 22 of 26 games to begin the season.