It’s become rather apparent the Los Angeles Lakers have a desire to complete a trade with the Phoenix Suns for Trevor Ariza. While it may require a third team, signs point to the Lakers trading away Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in a potential deal.
Ariza, of course, has already been a member of the Lakers, from 2007-09. He did not play in one but twice went to the NBA Finals with the team, which includes winning a championship against the Orlando Magic.
According to those close to him, Ariza has interest in a reunion with the Lakers, via L.A. Times:
The Lakers very much would like to acquire Ariza, the people said. And people close to Ariza, who signed a one-year deal with the Suns for $15 million, said he would like to return home to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers.
Ariza is not originally from Los Angeles, but he attended both high school and college in Southern California, playing basketball at Westchester high school and then at UCLA in the 2003-04 season.
And having already played for the Lakers, this would absolutely be a welcome homecoming for him. On the basketball side, Ariza is a perfect fit for the team.
A positionless defender and consistent 3-point shooter is almost everything the Lakers could ask for right now. With the current logjam on the perimeter, trading Caldwell-Pope for Ariza would allow for more effective small-ball lineups as well as opening up more bench minutes for Josh Hart once Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo return from respective injuries.