When the Phoenix Suns officially made Trevor Ariza available on the trade market, one of the NBA teams who expressed a strong interest in acquiring him was the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers believed that Ariza could address two major issues on their roster – defense and floor spacing. Unfortunately, the initial trade negotiations between the two teams fractured after the Suns reportedly asked for one of the Lakers’ young core, specifically shooting guard Josh Hart.
During those times, David Aldridge of The Athletic revealed on a Twitter post that Suns owner Robert Sarver was adamant that he would not send Trevor Ariza to the Lakers. Instead of letting Ariza return to his hometown team, the Suns ended up trading him to the Washington Wizards for Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre Jr.
In a recent interview with Gina Mizell of the Athletic, Suns Interim General Manager James Jones decided to break his silence regarding the rumors about the failed Suns-Lakers trade deal involving Trevor Ariza. Jones denied that Suns owner Robert Sarver was the reason why the deal didn’t push through.
“No. Throughout all of this, Robert has been adamant that his focus is on what helps the Suns grow and be the best. That was inaccurate. Actually, if something could have worked out, Robert would have been a huge proponent, just because of that investment and understanding that Trevor and his family are (based) on the West Coast. If we can do right for both parties, it should make sense. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t do something that benefits both parties.”
After their trade with the Lakers failed to materialize, the Suns almost completed a three-team deal with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Wizards centered on Trevor Ariza. Unfortunately, when the teams were about to finalize the deal, it was a revealed that there was a misunderstanding between the Suns and the Grizzlies regarding which player with the surname Brooks was involved in the trade.
The Suns reportedly thought that they would acquire Dillon Brooks, but the one the Grizzlies were only willing to give up was MarShon Brooks. After the Grizzlies backed out in the deal, the Suns had a direct trade negotiation with the Wizards where they received Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers for Trevor Ariza. Despite their need of a starting caliber point guard, the Suns decided to waive Rivers to let him join a team of his own choice as an unrestricted free agent.