Lakers, Suns exploring trade for Trevor Ariza


After a 2-5 start to the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season, the Los Angeles Lakers have turned it around and are now 16-10.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns need to find a third friend to hop into their trade talks.

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to add a 3-and-D wing to provide some spacing and a much-needed defensive presence as they continue their push to compete this season. The Suns are reportedly hoping to land a playmaking guard and draft pick in exchange for Ariza.

Players signed this offseason as a free agent can not be traded until Saturday.

Houston's re-acquisition of Ariza had been floated as a possibility this season, either via trade or free agency if the 33-year-old is bought out, but a trade to the Lakers would place him beyond its reach.

Ariza is one of the most important trade assets for the Suns - losers of 22 of 26 games - and their best chance to bolster their backcourt and gain assets.

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The identity of the third team is unknown, but Wojnarowski's report indicates that the Lakers are looking to send Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to the third team.

Caldwell-Pope's minutes in Los Angeles have diminished this season and he is averaging 8.5 points in 21 minutes a game, shooting 38 percent from the field and 34 percent from deep. Caldwell-Pope is on a one-year, $12 million contract.

Ariza's expiring contract would allow the Lakers to keep salary-cap flexibility into summer free agency.

Additionally, general manager Rob Pelinka represented Ariza during his career as an agent prior to joining Los Angeles' front office in 2017.

Ariza now averages 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 24 games played.