Lakers Trade Rumors: Wizards' Trevor Ariza Drawing Interest from LA

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: Trevor Ariza #1 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Capital One Arena on February 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Perhaps looking to cast a wide net ahead of the NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers are keeping an eye on Trevor Ariza

Per ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers have a "fondness" for Ariza if the Washington Wizards make the forward available before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline. 

Los Angeles has also been trying to pry Anthony Davis away from the New Orleans Pelicans, although those discussions don't appear to be going so well.

According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have pulled out of Davis trade talks due to "outrageous" demands from the Pelicans, which included six to eight draft picks. 

It's unclear how many players the Wizards will make available ahead of Thursday's deadline, but owner Ted Leonsis says his three biggest stars aren't going anywhere.

"We'll see what's out there," Leonsis told Washington radio station WTOP last week (h/t NBC Sports Washington's Lisa Redmond). "But I'm not tanking, right? I love when they go, 'trade Bradley Beal. Trade John Wall. Trade Otto Porter.' And I go 'OK, for who?' We're not trading any of those players."

The Wizards acquired Ariza from the Phoenix Suns in December. He would make sense as a trade chip since he'll be a free agent this summer.

Unless Washington (22-31) views itself as a playoff contender—the team is currently three games behind the Miami Heat for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference—there's no point in keeping a 33-year-old on an expiring contract. 

The Lakers could use Ariza to boost their wing rotation as they chase a playoff berth, and they'd maintain their salary-cap flexibility this summer to allow them to pursue trades and free agents.