Now that LeBron James has finally picked a destination, the rest of free agency will begin to fall into place.
Trevor Ariza, who was considered to be Washington’s second highest priority to Marcin Gortat this offseason, is also viewed as a possible second option for teams that miss out on the top-tier free agents such as LeBron and Carmelo Anthony.
Ariza is coming off a career-season during his contract year and is supposedly looking to get 4-year/$48 million contract. According to David Aldridge, the Washington Wizards are not willing to go above $9 million per season, which would give Trevor Ariza about a $2 million raise.
Even though Trevor Ariza reportedly won’t be getting $10+ million from the Wizards like he’s desiring, there will be some desperate teams looking to fill a void after missing out on star talent. The Houston Rockets were expecting to sign Chris Bosh after LeBron opted to return to Cleveland, but a 5-year max contract offer kept Bosh with the Miami Heat, and the Rockets could also potentially lose Chandler Parsons, who recently signed a 3-year/$45 million offer sheet from the Dallas Mavericks.
Unless the Rockets decide to match the contract worth $15 million per season, which could be considered an overpay for Parsons, then they’ll have to move on to another free agent small forward. In comes Trevor Ariza.
According to Tim MacMahon, the Rockets are having advanced talked with Luol Deng and Trevor Ariza. What do advanced talks mean? Well, that’s where things get a little murky.
If other reports were true, then the Wizards and Trevor Ariza have already had some contract talks, but nothing has obviously occurred. Trevor Ariza is looking to get a lot more money than they probably expected, and if he’s unwilling to take $8 or $9 million from Washington, then he’ll likely entertain the possibility of leaving the nation’s capital.
Parsons will get $15 million per season from the Mavericks if the Rockets decide to let him walk, and Ariza could potentially be a cheaper replacement. Rockets GM, Daryl Morey, did overpay to get Trevor Ariza in 2009, giving him a 5-year/$33 million contract despite him being merely a defensive specialist with the Los Angeles Lakers. Trevor Ariza was given the keys to Houston’s offense, and as a result, he shot less than 40% from the field. He only lasted one season with the Rockets before getting traded.
So, now that we’ve seen players get massively overpayed this summer, you can’t really fault Trevor Ariza for wanting $10 million. Although the Wizards may not be able to offer him that kind of money, he’s looking to capitalize from playing along side John Wall in a bounce back season and he might be able to get the last big contract of his career.
Will that be with the Rockets? We’ll just have to wait and see.