Lakers Officially Sign Trevor Ariza To Contract
Trevor Ariza, Lakers
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers announced the signing of Trevor Ariza to a contract and although the terms were not released, it is reported to be for one year. He was among the players the team agreed to terms with on the first day of NBA free agency, and now he officially enters his second stint with the franchise.

Ariza played two seasons with the Lakers in 2007-09, averaging 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 21.2 minutes per game. L.A. advanced to the NBA Finals both years, losing to the Boston Celtics in 2008 before defeating the Orlando Magic in 2009.

Ariza, entering his 18th NBA season, most recently spent time with the Miami Heat in 2020-21, where he averaged 9.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and one steal in 28 minutes per game.

Ariza enjoyed his time in South Beach with the Miami Heat but revealed he couldn’t pass on the opportunity to return to his old team. “Being here was always somewhere that I wanted to be. To be honest, there was only two places that I actually wanted to be, Miami being one and L.A. being the other,” Ariza said in his introductory press conference.

“But to be able to come back home, be with my family, be a part of this tradition is something that you don’t really get too many chances to do this twice so when the opportunity actually presented itself and it was real, I think it was the best opportunity for me to come home and be here and I’m excited. I’m happy. I wanted to be here. I’m excited to play with all the players to see what this team can do.”

Ariza, now 36 years old, isn’t the elite defender he used to be but nonetheless provides value with his ability to guard multiple positions. He also gives the Lakers another option from behind the arc as he shot a respectable 35% from three-point range last season.

Ariza is one of several newcomers at the forward position for the Lakers, who additionally reached deals with Carmelo Anthony and Kent Bazemore at the start of free agency. However, those signings have not been made official yet.

Lakers finalize Howard, Ellington signings

In addition to finalizing the Ariza signing, the Lakers officially announced that Dwight Howard and Wayne Ellington have returned to the franchise.

Howard is back after spending the 2020-21 season with the Philadelphia 76ers. His second stint in L.A. was a success as he played a pivotal role in the team winning the 2020 NBA championship.

Ellington, who played for the Lakers in 2014-15, improves the team’s shooting as he knocked down 42.2% of his three-point attempts with the Detroit Pistons last season.

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