Trevor Ariza was one of the key players behind the Houston Rockets’ success in the 2017-18 NBA season. After finishing with a historical 65-17 regular-season record, the Rockets reached the Western Conference finals where they forced a Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors. If Chris Paul didn’t suffer an injury, most people believed that the Rockets would have prevented the Warriors from winning back-to-back NBA titles.
When he became an unrestricted free agent in the last offseason, Trevor Ariza decided to part ways with the Rockets and accepted a one-year, $15 million contract with the Phoenix Suns. Per Amico Hoops, Ariza described the Suns as the team “that showed the most promise” among his suitors. After inking a new deal, the veteran small forward said that he was “happy” and “excited” to be with the Suns.
However, Trevor Ariza never had those feelings again since the start of the 2018-19 NBA season, and according to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, he began to regret his decision to leave the Rockets for the Suns. Despite the improvements on their roster, the Suns remain as one of the worst teams in the league. So far, they are sitting in the No. 15 spot in the Western Conference with an 8-24 record.
Trevor Ariza comes in telling the truth… https://t.co/0t8XxxSrmZ
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) December 20, 2018
Trevor Ariza has also shown a huge drop in his statistics since he started playing for the Suns. In the 26 games he played with the Suns this season, the 33-year-old small forward averaged 9.9 points on 37.9 percent shooting from the field, and 36.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Recently, the Suns traded Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards for Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre, Jr. The Wizards are undeniably a better team than the Suns, but they are not in any way considered a legitimate threat in the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference. Like what is currently happening in Phoenix, a drama has also been circulating around the Wizards since the start of the season.
“As exciting as Ariza’s list of suitors looked, the Wizards might’ve had the lowest ceiling and most dysfunction of the group. Granted, there are worse fates than playing pro ball in Washington D.C. for an eight-figure salary, but this might be the last time Ariza’s name comes up on the national stage all season.”
No one can blame Trevor Ariza for his decision to leave the Rockets for a huge payday. When the 2018 NBA free agency started, the Rockets didn’t even prioritize bringing him back to the fold and focused on re-signing Chris Paul and Clint Capela. The departure of Ariza has greatly affected the Rockets’ performance in the 2018-19 NBA season, and as of now, they are currently searching for a defensive-minded player to fill the hole that he left on their wing.