There is something to being wanted. The fact that someone steps to you first and expresses an interest is extremely flattering and can intensify the relationship. To be loved and feel wanted is a basic emotion that we all feel. To Trevor Ariza, that was his biggest desire.
At some point, it's a business. You are hired to preform to your capabilities. But, you have to care about winning. While getting the most money has to be a consideration, winning has to matter as well. Trevor, I know that the Rockets told you they wanted you. They really do want you, because they lost Ron Artest. BUT, it only happened AFTER YOU REJECTED the Lakers offer.
The Los Angeles Times details the deals
"I am happy with my decision," Ariza told The Times. "I'm glad this all worked out. The Rockets are going to give me a chance to improve my game and that's all you can ask for."
Ariza played in all 82 regular-season games and stepped up his game in the playoffs, averaging 11.3 points while shooting a stellar 47.6% from three-point range. He also had memorable steals of two inbounds passes late in Games 1 and 3 of the Western Conference finals against Denver.
Ariza's agent, David Lee, said the 24-year-old forward passed up a more lucrative contract offer from another team to go to Houston. That team was believed to be Toronto.
"It was never about the money," Lee said. "It was about going someplace where you felt appreciated."
UPDATE It looks like Ariza got caught up playing two sides against the other. That didn't seem to work out for him. The people at Hoopshype.com explain...
A source tells HOOPSWORLD that Kupchak was prepared to give Ariza an offer equivalent to the full MLE but at 10.5% raises, totaling at approximately $33.8 million over five years. LA's ceiling might have been a $6 million starting salary for $36 million over five but before negotiations progressed after 9:00pm Pacific on Tuesday night, the source says that Ariza's agent, David Lee, took a confrontational approach with Kupchak. Lee wanted a deal in the $50 million range and took offense to the team's stance that Trevor should test the market first for that level of compensation. By the next morning, the Lakers were going after Artest in full force with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and even Magic Johnson reaching out to the Houston forward. HoopsWorld
ESPN.com reports terms of the deal that Trevor Ariza signed (will sign as soon as Wednesday)
ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan reports that Ariza, according to sources, will receive the Rockets' full mid-level exception, which is being projected to come in at $5.8 million for next season. If the exception for the 2009-10 season is indeed set at $5.8 million Wednesday when the league announces next season's salary cap and luxury tax, Ariza's deal would be worth $33.5 million.
But here is the rub. Trevor Ariza signed for exactly what the Lakers offered. He turned down staying at home in Los Angeles. He claims in the above statement that he wanted to improve his game and that Houston gave him the best opportunity to do so. So, it wasn't the money, it was respect? It's disrespectful to offer the mid-level exception? Another reason Ariza gives is that Houston was closer to his child than Cleveland. HELLO McFLY! Your son is in LA and guess who offered you a deal to stay home? The Lakers! I could understand if it was the Clippers, but this was Showtime!
SI.com details that he was unhappy with the deal.
Ariza unhappy with Lakers' offer The Lakers remained far apart on negotiations Wednesday with their two main free-agent pieces, forwards Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza. In particular, Ariza and his agent weren't thrilled by the Lakers' annual offer of $5.6 million over an unspecified number of years. Ariza, 24, was hoping for $7 million to $8 million a year. Odom, 29, is believed to be seeking $10 million a year, though it was unclear what the Lakers offered him. Ariza is drawing interest from Portland, Houston, Cleveland, Toronto and the Clippers. Of those teams, only Portland and Toronto have enough salary-cap room to offer more than the Lakers' current offer.
(Los Angeles Times)
Someone offered more than the midlevel, if his agent is to be believed. (At this point, there is no reason to doubt the agent) So, if it wasn't money, why did he go to a team that has LESS of a chance to win this?
Well, enjoy Houston. You go from this...
You traded for a broken down Tracy McGrady, and a broken down Yao Ming, instead of this guy, who might be on the greatest EVER!
Like the ending of Indiana Jones...Trevor, you chose poorly...
parts of this article cross posted and other related articles at wclbasketball.wordpress.com