After the successful acquisition of LeBron James in the recent free agency, Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka revealed that they are not yet done in upgrading their roster. The Lakers continue to find ways to address their weaknesses and as of now, they are having a trade negotiation with the Phoenix Suns involving veteran small forward Trevor Ariza.
After rejecting a three-team deal, Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times revealed that the Suns tried to demand one of Lakers’ young core in exchange for Trevor Ariza. However, the Lakers immediately declined the Suns’ trade offer. The Lakers made it clear to the entire league that they are only trading Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, or Josh Hart if they will receive a legitimate NBA superstar in return.
“The Lakers won’t surrender Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma or Josh Hart to the Phoenix Suns in their pursuit of forward Trevor Ariza, said people familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The Lakers have informed teams that have called about trade proposals that they will not give up any of their young core unless it’s for a superstar player, one person said. The Suns were turned down when they sought to get one of the Lakers’ young players in exchange for Ariza, and Phoenix also rejected a three-team deal that was discussed with the Lakers.”
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) December 10, 2018
It’s definitely not a surprise that the Lakers refused to trade one of their young core to the Suns for Trevor Ariza. During the 2018 NBA offseason, the Lakers had the opportunity to acquire Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs, but they decided not to give up valuable trade assets for a player they could sign in the 2019 NBA free agency. If the Lakers will include Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, or Josh Hart in a trade package, it will be for a superstar who could give them a real chance of contending for the NBA championship title.
So far, the Lakers and the Suns are still working on a deal centered on Trevor Ariza. Despite his age, the Lakers see Ariza as a “solid fit” to their roster. Ariza will not only boost the Lakers’ performance on the defensive end of the floor, but he will also give them a reliable three-point shooter in the wing. This season, the 33-year-old small forward is averaging 9.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.4 steals on 37.3 percent shooting from the field and 35.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.