Updates from Tuesday, July 15
Marc Stein of ESPN reported on the sign-and-trade talks for Trevor Ariza:
Houston's three-way deal to send Omer Asik to New Orleans, with Washington sign-and-trading Trevor Ariza to Rockets, is now official— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 15, 2014
Updates from Sunday, July 13
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported on the latest in Trevor Ariza's move to Houston:
Washington and Houston have agreed to a sign-and-trade for Trevor Ariza, league source tells Yahoo. Wizards get $8.5M trade exception.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 13, 2014
David Aldridge had more on the state of negotiations for Ariza:
Wizards have engaged Rockets and Pelicans in three-team deal to facilitate Trevor Ariza going to the Rockets and Omer Asik going to NO.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 13, 2014
Pelicans will get Asik, Omri Casspi & 1.5M from Houston. Rockets get Ariza from Wizards, Alonzo Gee and 2015 protected first from Pelicans.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 13, 2014
Sam Amick of USA Today and ESPN's Mason Ginsberg had more details on the talks:
Wizards get $8.5 million trade exception & Melvin Ely's nonguaranteed deal. Rockets get Ariza on four-year, $32 mil deal.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 13, 2014
Gee + Ely = $4.3 million. Asik + Casspi is $9.5 mil. #Pelicans need to send out $6.3 mil to take in $9.3. Still missing something.— Mason Ginsberg (@MasonGinsberg) July 13, 2014
Trevor Ariza, one of the keys to a memorable playoff run by the Washington Wizards last season, has signed a four-year deal with the Houston Rockets.
Sam Amick of USA Today reported the details of the deal:
The Houston Rockets have agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with Trevor Ariza, @USATODAYsports has learned.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 12, 2014
Michael Lee of the The Washington Post had Ernie Grunfeld's thoughts on losing Ariza:
Ernie Grunfeld on Trevor Ariza: "We’re disappointed. We made our very best offer. He elected to go elsewhere. We wish him the best" #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) July 12, 2014
The 6'8" forward finished last season averaging 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game—each well above his career averages. Known as a journeyman after having played for six different teams during his 10-year career, Ariza flourished with the Wizards.
Those numbers and his standout play in the postseason contributed to the large contract he was expected to receive, as David Aldridge of TNT and Andrew Brandt of Sports Illustrated previously pointed out:
It may be with the Wizards, it may be with someone else, but Trevor Ariza is gonna get paaaaaaaiiid this summer.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) May 5, 2014
Trevor Ariza will cash in as a free agent this summer. And unlike an NFL contract, all the money will be real (and spectacular).— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) May 6, 2014
His time in Washington saw him go from starting just 15 games in 2012-13 to 77 last season, with his numbers also seeing a huge jump. What made Ariza a huge asset was his three-point shooting, which improved from 36.4 in his first year with the Wizards to 40.7 in 2013-14.
After making a postseason run with the team, the former UCLA player believed Washington should be a destination for free agents, per Michael Lee of The Washington Post:
Ariza also spoke about what would ultimately sway his decision this offseason before signing with the Rockets, via Lee:
My family is definitely the most important thing for me, before anything. Basketball, everything. So that plays a big factor into a lot things. But when you build something with people that’s hard to let go and what we built in this locker room this season is a beautiful thing to me. I really enjoyed playing with those guys and I love those dudes like they’re my brothers.
It’s always been more than money. People get confused because we all make a lot of money and it seems crazy to the general public, but this is something that we all love to do. We play this game because we love it and if we didn’t get paid for it, most of us probably would still be playing. You just got to be comfortable where you are.
What Ariza offers the Rockets is a player who is productive offensively and can contribute right away. With the team looking to contend this upcoming season, adding a dynamic player like Ariza who can find his shot nearly anywhere on the court is a noteworthy move.
Houston looks like a stronger team during the offseason already. Ariza's signing does not carry the same kind of wow factor Chris Bosh would have, but after trading Jeremy Lin and missing out on the other big-name free agents, it's the sort of move the Rockets needed to make.
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