According to espn.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski the Los Angeles Lakers are in talks to try to acquire the services of Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza. It appears that both teams are working on bringing a third club into the deal that would take on Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as a component of a potentially bigger trade.
For Phoenix, the asking price for Ariza is a playmaking guard as well as a draft asset. With all these workings going on behind the scenes, KCP has veto power in a trade so he had his agent, Rich Paul- yes that Rich Paul, will work with the Lakers ( as they have in the past) to try to find a team that will allow him to showcase his talents, as he will be entering unrestricted free-agency this summer. Caldwell-Pope is currently averaging 8.5 point, the lowest mark since his rookie campaign, in just 21 minutes per contest. He is shooting 38 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range, both of which are down from last season.
Ariza, 33, is on a one-year, $15 million deal that he signed with Phoenix this past offseason. His defensive versatility and three-point shooting ( both of which are sorely missed by the Houston Rockets) as well as his expiring contract make him very attractive to a lot of teams, especially contenders.
Should he end up in Los Angeles, his contract will still allow the Lakers to remain cap-flexible heading into the loaded free agency class of 2019. It also doesn’t hurt that Lakers GM Rob Pelinka used to be represent Ariza in his previous life as an agent prior to joining LA’s front office.
So far this season, Ariza is posting averages of 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 33.6 minutes per contest.