After benefitting from the Phoenix Suns parting with Tyson Chandler, the Los Angeles Lakers were hopeful to go back to the well a second time and acquire Trevor Ariza late last year.
They faced long odds to be successful, however, as Chandler’s buyout became a source of speculation and friction. The close relationship LeBron James shares with Suns interim general manager James Jones was said to be a factor in the veteran center being released so early into the season.
Suns owner Robert Sarver reportedly refused to trade Ariza to the Lakers, seemingly in response to the public criticism and mocking his franchise endured. Ariza was eventually traded to the Washington Wizards, who have begun to strip down their roster ahead of the trade deadline.
However, even after parting with Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris, the Wizards are likely to retain Ariza. Not only that, but he’s expected to re-sign with the team this summer, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Lakers are interested, but Trevor Ariza and Washington Wizards remain in each's future plans, league sources tell ESPN. Ariza is enthusiastic about re-signing with Washington. Wizards' trades creating financial flexibility that'll make it easier to bring Ariza back on new deal
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
The Lakers’ sustained interest in Ariza resurfaced Tuesday, though it was prior to the team reaching an agreement to acquire Reggie Bullock from the Detroit Pistons.
Although they may remain enamored with Ariza, the Lakers’ need for him diminished with the trade for Bullock being finalized.
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