It’s the time of year where NBA trade rumors start to really gain momentum. The standings are starting to become established, bad teams are starting to accept their fate, and good teams are starting to realize what missing pieces they need.
One team reportedly in the mix to make moves this trade season is the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are exceeding some expectations - sure, they added LeBron James over the summer, but they added him to a 35-win team that lost two of their top players, and made some questionable supplemental moves in free agency.
But here we are, in December, and the Lakers are 17-10, just 1.5 games behind first place in the Western Conference. So naturally, they’re looking for ways to improve, to really make some noise. And according to reports, the player they have their eyes on is Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza.
Sources: Lakers trying to acquire Suns forward Trevor Ariza in a three-team deal. https://t.co/EzgOxFem60— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 10, 2018
A third team being involved shouldn’t be surprising at all, as the Lakers really don’t have the pieces to match what the Suns would be looking for. But a third team could facilitate that.
Getting Ariza would be a huge move for Los Angeles. Given Ariza’s ability from beyond the three-point line, he’d be a better fit in the Lakers’ starting lineup than Brandon Ingram, and he’d allow Ingram to become a bench spark plug.
Perhaps more important for the team is Ariza’s excellent defense. In last year’s Western Conference Finals, Ariza - then with the Houston Rockets - was a huge part of why the Golden State Warriors found their backs against the wall. Ariza played some of the best defense on Kevin Durant that we saw all year, so it shouldn’t be surprising that LA is interested in his services.
Since Ariza was signed in the offseason, he cannot be traded until December 15, so keep your eye on that date.