Ever since the New Orleans Hornets failed to sign oft-injured guard Eric Gordon to a contract extension, several people (including myself) have wondered silently if he will be traded before the March 15th trade deadline.
While I am not so certain about Eric Gordon, there is one player on the Hornets' current roster that some teams should inquire about—Trevor Ariza.
The seven-year small forward out of UCLA benefited greatly from the champion run by the LA Lakers a few of seasons ago in 2008-09. He is a decent defender and can shoot from three-point range when he is open. He also comes with a cap-friendly contract, that despite its two years remaining after this season—the cap hit of approximately $6.8 million would not hurt a team that is looking for championship experience.
For a team such as the Indiana Pacers, that believe they can get past the Chicago Bulls to win the NBA Central, could use a player of Ariza’s ability off of their bench. Perhaps, a draft pick could help the Pacers pry Ariza from New Orleans.
Another team that could use Trevor Ariza is the New Jersey Nets. One of their biggest weaknesses is a solid player on the wing. Damion James when healthy has shown a few flashes here and there, but not much to warrant a long-term look.
This is not to suggest that Ariza would become a better long-term option, but he might be able to develop some chemistry with point guard Deron Williams. In return, again maybe just a draft pick will do.
This would be wise for New Orleans to do because with the rebuilding project underway—the more assets that they can obtain the better. Not to mention that trading Ariza is a little more realistic than trading away Eric Gordon or Chris Kaman.
Gordon can only be swapped in a deal by himself, while Kaman makes too much money for teams to match up salaries.
In the end, New Orleans trading Ariza can possibly bring back another draft pick that can be used in a trade on draft night for a veteran who can contribute, or more young talent that the Hornets can build around.
For Hornets' fans it may bring more reasons for hope.
At this time, hope is what’s needed.