According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers are pursuing a deal with the Suns for the veteran forward — who previously spent two seasons with the Lakers a decade ago. Via ESPN:
The Los Angeles Lakers are engaged in talks trying to acquire Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza, league sources told ESPN.
The teams have been working to reach an agreement with a third team that would take on Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as part of a potentially larger deal, league sources said.
The Suns want to land a playmaking guard and a draft asset as the price of unloading Ariza, sources said. Phoenix and Los Angeles have made progress in third-team scenarios, although no agreements are close and both teams remain active in multiple trade discussions throughout the league, sources said.
No trade can be completed officially until Saturday, when players like Ariza, who were signed in summer free agency, become eligible to be traded.
The Suns signed Ariza to a one-year, $15M deal in one of the strangest moves of the offseason. In conjunction with their other moves, which included trading for veteran forward Ryan Anderson, it seemed their goal was to try and compete for a playoff spot. That, um, didn’t work, but their decision to sign Ariza might still pay off in the long run if they can end up getting something valuable for him in a trade.
As for the Lakers, who will be back in action on Monday night when they host the Miami Heat (10:30 p.m. ET — Watch on FuboTV with NBATV extension), it’s no surprise to see them trying to make a trade to bolster their team — especially on the wing. They also had an interesting offseason, as their moves outside of adding LeBron surprised a lot of people. There was little doubt that their team would look different come playoff time, and they appear to be getting started on that process early. Adding Ariza, specifically, would make even more sense for the Lakers, as his contract would expire in the offseason, thus not eating into their cap space.
It will be interesting to see if the two teams are able to entice a third team to enter the deal. The more you expand trades, the harder they can be to complete, but as we saw just a few days ago with the Milwaukee-Cleveland-Washington deal, it can be done.