It looks like the Los Angeles Lakers are shifting their focus to making smaller trades ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 7 after reportedly pulling out of trade talks for Anthony Davis on Tuesday.
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
Prior to being moved to the Wizards, Ariza and his camp reportedly expressed interest in a return to the Lakers. Ariza was acquired by the Lakers in the 2007-08 season before leaving in free agency in 2009, and won a championship during his time with the team.
However, Suns owner Robert Sarver was reportedly “adamant” about keeping Ariza away from the Lakers unless they included one of their young players in a trade. It’s almost as if this is a pattern, or something. Luckily, Magic Johnson and Co. wouldn’t have to negotiate with Sarver this time around.
With the Wizards likely out of the playoff picture — and John Wall out for the next 12 months — general manager Ernie Grunfield could try and flip Ariza and his $15 million contract before Thursday’s trade deadline. The Lakers could theoretically match salaries with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
And if the Wizards can’t find a suitable suitor for Ariza, it’s possible that Ariza and his camp pursue a buyout, which would be great news for the Lakers. While they have been hesitant to clear a roster spot for Carmelo Anthony, they might to do it for a two-way wing like Ariza, who fills a bigger need on the roster.
We’ll see how the next few days play out, but it sounds like the Lakers are ready to move on from Davis and shift their attention to filling in the holes on their roster. In the short-term, that’s the right move.