Phoenix Suns small forward Trevor Ariza is expected to be one of the hottest commodities on the trade market when his trade restriction expires on December 15. The Suns signed Ariza and other veterans in the recent free agency, believing that they are ready to compete for a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference this season. Unfortunately, the Suns remain as one of the worst NBA teams in the league, sitting in the 15th spot in the Western Conference with a 4-20 record.
At 33, there is no doubt that Trevor Ariza is already on the downside of his NBA career, but no one can deny that fact that he still has lots of gas left in his tank. Rather than staying on a rebuilding team like the Suns, Ariza will definitely love spending his remaining years in the league on a legitimate playoff contender. One of the NBA teams who could express interest in Ariza once he becomes officially available on the trading block is the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the proposed trade deal by Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Lakers will be trading Svi Mykhailiuk, Rajon Rondo, and a 2020 second-round pick to the Suns in exchange for Trevor Ariza. The Lakers’ suggested offer for Ariza will definitely anger lots of fans in Los Angeles, especially those who see Rondo as a valuable piece on the team’s roster. Some people may also think that trading those assets are too much for a player who could leave next summer as an unrestricted free agent.
However, Favale believes that the deal will be beneficial for the Lakers as Trevor Ariza will be giving them a veteran wingman who can space the floor and guard the opposing team’s best player.
“Picking up Ariza does more for the Lakers. He can tackle some of the bigger defensive assignments LeBron won’t and Kyle Kuzma can’t, and his 35.7 percent clip from downtown invites more outside volume. Los Angeles is 23rd in spot-up accuracy from behind the rainbow—28th over its last 10 games—and 24th in treys attempted per 100 possessions.”
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) December 5, 2018
Meanwhile, the deal is definitely a no-brainer for the Suns. In exchange for Trevor Ariza, the Suns will finally acquire a starting caliber point guard they could pair with Devin Booker in their backcourt and a young player who could be part of their long-term future. Rajon Rondo will not only immediately address one of the Suns’ major problems, but he could also help them in the development of their young players.
Svi Mykhailiuk will be a great addition to the Suns’ young core, giving them a reliable option from beyond the arc. Being on a rebuilding team that can give him a significant playing time could help Mykhailiuk unleash his full potential. Aside from the trade assets that they could acquire, sending Ariza to another team instead of buying out his contract will help the Suns save around $4.5 million.