Trevor Ariza and the Houston Rockets nearly knocked off the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. It was a hard-fought series, but the Rockets ended up falling in Game 7. Now, there are a few decisions that the Rockets will have to make this offseason, including a few players heading into free agency.
According to a report from ESPN analyst Chris Haynes, Ariza could take a pay cut to join the Warriors this offseason. He would not make Houston fans happy, but it would be a move that would vastly improve Golden State’s depth and give him a great chance to a win a title.
During the 2017-18 season with the Rockets, Ariza ended up averaging 11.7 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He also chipped in 1.5 steals per game. Houston would be losing their top perimeter defender and excellent three-point shooter that fits well alongside James Harden and Chris Paul.
At 32 years old, Ariza could view this offseason as his last chance to choose from a long list of teams to sign with. His prime is over and he is in the twilight years of his career. While he may be aging, Ariza is still a more than capable role player for a championship team.
Golden State would likely be very interested in signing Ariza if he truly wants to sign with them. Ariza is the type of player that every team needs. He is similar to Andre Iguodala in that area and would provide the Warriors with even more defensive prowess.
— Game 3 Kevin Durant (@BurnerDurant) June 8, 2018
There will be quite a few teams interested in signing Ariza this offseason, including the Rockets. If Ariza were to take a major pay cut to join the Warriors, there is no question that fans would let him hear about it. Fans have become frustrated with players chasing rings, which is exactly what signing with the Warriors would be for Ariza.
All of that being said, no one can blame a player for wanting to a win a championship late in their career.
It will be interesting to see which teams pursue Ariza this offseason and how big of a discount he is willing to take to join a true championship contender. Returning to Houston would also give him a chance to contend for a title. Leaving the Rockets for Golden State would be frowned upon, similarly to how Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Warriors.
Expect to hear more rumors about Ariza as the offseason gets underway in the near future. He is going to be one of the most underrated free agents on the market this offseason and the Warriors are certainly a team to keep an eye on for him.