Well before the Los Angeles Lakers were involved in Anthony Davis trade rumors, they were working on improving the depth of their roster. During that time, Trevor Ariza emerged as a target for L.A.
Not long after benefitting from the Phoenix Suns buying out and waiving Tyson Chandler, the Lakers looked to their intra-division opponent a second time. However, because of speculation Suns general manager James Jones did a favor for James with Chandler, a reunion with Ariza wasn’t considered likely.
As Suns owner Robert Sarver reportedly remained against trading Ariza to the Lakers, he instead was temporarily bound for the Memphis Grizzlies. That deal came undone amid confusion over the Suns’ return, and Ariza was eventually traded to the Washington Wizards.
There was hope Ariza’s arrival would aid the Wizards’ playoff push but they’ve remained on the periphery in the Eastern Conference. Their odds to reach the playoffs took a hit late last year with news of John Wall undergoing season-ending surgery that now entails recovery from a torn Achilles.
In the event the Wizards opt to begin selling before Thursday’s trade deadline, the Lakers remain interested in Ariza, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
In non-Anthony Davis news, Lakers continue to have a fondness for Trevor Ariza, should the Wizards make him available at the deadline.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 5, 2019
Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have been active at each of the past two trade deadlines, which suggests some deal is likely even if it does not involve Davis.
On that front, the Lakers have withdrawn from talks with the New Orleans Pelicans but reportedly are willing to re-engage if a counter offer is made.
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