The Trevor Ariza saga, at least momentarily, seems to be over. After a trade broke and fell through, Ariza is indeed on his way to Washington while his Phoenix Suns receive Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre as compensation.
On Friday, a three-team trade with the Grizzlies that would have still sent the 3-and-D forward to Washington fell through over some miscommunication and teams began making calls again to secure the valued role player. But as it was reported last night, Suns’ owner Robert Sarver had no intention of trading with the Lakers, especially after buying out Tyson Chandler, who has become an indispensable part of a rolling Lakers team.
As it turns out, Sarver and the Suns did have a price for the Lakers – because why wouldn’t they? – but it was astronomical enough that the Lakers would never pull the trigger.
Once that deal fell apart, the Suns re-engaged with the Los Angeles Lakers on trade talks for Ariza, league sources said. Suns owner Robert Sarver and interim general manager James Jones were working with Ariza and his agents with CAA, Aaron Mintz and Steve Heumann, on brokering a deal with the Lakers, but it never materialized. The Lakers were unwilling to include one of their core young players in the trade, and the Suns ultimately moved back to complete a deal with the Wizards.
The Lakers rightfully balked at sending one of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart to receive a half-year rental of Ariza and the rest is history. What’s interesting here is that Mintz, who also represents D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle, was trying to get Ariza to LA, although that may have been mainly due to the forward’s own interest.
The Lakers seemed to be dead set on trading for Ariza to help them win now, given how the Western Conference is wide open after the Warriors. However, they are standing firm on looking for expiring contracts only and holding onto their assets in case of a blockbuster trade. That’s sound management from the front office.