In the week ahead of players who signed a new contract in free agency this past summer becoming eligible to be traded, the Los Angeles Lakers were reported as having interest in a reunion with Trevor Ariza.
Unlike when they benefitted from the Phoenix Suns buying out veteran center Tyson Chandler, the Lakers acquiring Ariza would require completing a trade. That proved problematic as the Suns didn’t have interest in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope but sought Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma.
That led to reports of a potential three-team trade, with the Houston Rockets emerging as a potential landing spot for Caldwell-Pope. Come Friday night it appeared Ariza was bound for the Washington Wizards in a three-team trade that also involved the Memphis Grizzlies.
That came undone when there was confusion over whether the Suns would receive Dillon Brooks or MarShon Brooks from the Grizzlies. In the aftermath of that, the Lakers and Rockets began to re-engage the Suns in trade talks, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Several other teams were already pushing the Suns to get back involved in a deal for Ariza, including the Lakers and Houston Rockets, league sources said.
While the Lakers attempted to re-enter the picture, a trade seemed unlikely. Suns owner Robert Sarver reportedly was against trading Ariza to the Lakers, in large part because of criticism his team received over the developments of Chandler.
And come Saturday morning, the Suns and Wizards managed to complete a trade, with Ariza returning to the nation’s capital in exchange for Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre.