As previously reported on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have withdrawn their plans to acquire All-NBA big man Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans due to the latter team’s “outrageous” requests. However, the team still might have a few potential consolation prizes ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, including one player whom they had previously hoped to acquire earlier in the season — veteran wingman Trevor Ariza of the Washington Wizards.
On Tuesday afternoon, shortly after the above report broke, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne took to Twitter to note that the Lakers still “have a fondness” for the 33-year-old Ariza, who is currently averaging 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game in the current NBA season. As recalled by Lakers Nation, Ariza started out his 2018-19 campaign with the Phoenix Suns, but while his name started to appear in trade rumors shortly after the season kicked off, Suns owner Robert Sarver was reportedly against trading the veteran to the division rival Lakers.
After confusion involving two Memphis Grizzlies players with the same surname and position (MarShon and Dillon Brooks) resulted in a three-way trade involving the Wizards and Grizzlies getting canceled, Ariza was sent to Washington in a simpler trade where Phoenix received Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers in return, per Arizona Sports. Since that trade took place in December, the Wizards have continued to struggle in the Eastern Conference, with their chances of making the playoffs drastically decreasing after All-Star point guard John Wall underwent surgery for a torn Achilles tendon that ended his season.
Based on the team’s recent history of making moves right before the trade deadline, it’s still highly likely at this point that the Los Angeles Lakers will be involved in some sort of a trade before Thursday, may it be for Trevor Ariza or someone else. As noted by the Inquisitr on Monday, rumors over the past few days have also linked Chicago Bulls forward Jabari Parker and Detroit Pistons shooting guard Reggie Bullock to the Lakers.
As for the Lakers’ hopes of trading for Anthony Davis, all hope might not be lost for the team, even with two days remaining before the trade deadline. According to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson is waiting for the New Orleans Pelicans to “start offering counter-proposals,” which could suggest that the team might re-enter trade talks if said counter-offers are reasonable enough.