NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Los Angeles Lakers are in talks with the Phoenix Suns over a trade for Trevor Ariza.
The veteran forward was recently named as the top player most likely to be traded after December 15. And, per Woj's report on ESPN, the teams have been trying to reach an agreement with a third team to take Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in a bigger deal.
The Suns, who offloaded Tyson Chandler earlier this season, allowing him to join the Lakers after buying him out of the last year of his deal, are keen on landing a playmaking guard and remain in active discussions with multiple teams over potential switches. The Lakers are also engaged in talks with other teams, but Ariza is their prime target.
Sources: Lakers trying to acquire Suns forward Trevor Ariza in a three-team deal. https://t.co/EzgOxFem60— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 10, 2018
"The Los Angeles Lakers are engaged in talks to try to acquire Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza, league sources told ESPN," Wojnarowski reports.
"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."
No deal involving Ariza will be completed before Saturday, which is the date on and after which players who were signed as free agents in the summer can be officially moved on by means of a trade.
Ariza, 33, is one of the Suns' biggest trade assets and there are a lot of teams interested in signing the two-way perimeter player, who spent two years in Los Angeles with the Lakers, helping them win a championship in 2009.
Meanwhile, Caldwell-Pope has the power to veto any trade but the Lakers have a good relationship with his agent, Rich Paul, and they are likely to come to an agreement that works for all parties.
What This Means
Letting Ariza go in the first place is one of the Lakers' biggest mistakes in recent years and, incidentally, the Houston Rockets fell into the same trap during the summer as they opted to let the player leave as a free agent.
There's hardly a doubt he'll be a great fit if he returns to L.A. and his remarkable defending could be a real difference-maker for the ambitious side.