The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly interested in trading for Houston Rockets wing Trevor Ariza.
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Ariza Could Be Strong Addition for Cavs
Thursday, Feb. 11
Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com (via Matt Moore of CBS Sports) reported Ariza is one of many players the first-place Cavaliers are interested in adding to make a run at the franchise's first NBA championship.
Ariza, with 12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game this season heading into Thursday night, has seen his numbers drop from recent years, and Moore was critical of the 30-year-old's play:
Ariza is very interesting. Ariza has been a disaster in Houston this season along with, you know, every other Rockets player. Even his typically superb defense has been a mess. But how much of that is the chemistry and overall team malaise and how much is Ariza is debatable. What is not debatable is that Ariza is a tall, long defender with great range who can play small-ball four and stretch the floor, something that James would likely welcome in a heartbeat.
The Cavaliers could use a veteran role player to go along with their Big Three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Ariza has been in the league since 2004, and along with his usual superb defense, he is typically efficient on the court, averaging just 1.5 turnovers per game in his career. He is also shooting 37.7 percent from three-point range in 2015-16, which would rank third on Cleveland among those who play at least 20 minutes per game.
Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune thinks Ariza could be the missing piece for the Cavaliers:
I don't know how cleveland would get it done but Trevor Ariza would be a game-changer for them. I'd be tempted to offer a certain PF— Tony Jones (@Tjonessltrib) February 12, 2016
Moore noted it is unlikely that a trade will happen, but while the Cavs are the best team in the East, any help they can get to compete against the best in the West could go a long way, as they are just 1-3 this season against the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors.