The Trevor Ariza saga continues as the Phoenix Suns have been trying to trade him for weeks. The Washington Wizards appeared to have completed a trade for Ariza only to have the rug pulled from under them. Not only is the deal dead, but the city of Phoenix might be seeing the last of their basketball team.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski (Woj) of ESPN, the Suns dealt Ariza to the Wizards in a three-team trade. Washington sent Kelly Oubre Jr. to the Memphis Grizzlies and Wayne Selden was on his way to the Suns. Memphis were about to send the Wizards a 2020 second-round pick and a 2019 conditional second-rounder.
Sources told ESPN’s Zach Lowe that the deal was dead because of confusion over which player the Suns thought they were receiving in return. Initially, Wojnarowski reported that Memphis guard Marshon Brooks was headed to Phoenix. Woj explained what happened.
The Los Angeles Lakers were another team have had discussions with the Suns about a trade for Ariza. They wanted to orchestrate a three-team deal and involve Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The problem is that the Suns wanted to acquire the Lakers’ young core. The Lakers had no interest in doing that.
Even after involving a third team, the Suns decide they didn’t want to trade Ariza no matter. David Aldridge of the Athletic reported that the Suns’ owner, Robert Sarver was adamant about not giving up Ariza to the Lakers. Once he made his stance clear, that’s when the Suns pivoted toward other options.
Phoenix is in dire need of point guard and has been seeking more talent in return on any trade. They know playoff teams have been vying for Ariza’s services as well. Nevertheless, Sarver’s refusal to negotiate with the Lakers has a bit of backstory to it.
Over a month ago, the Suns released Tyson Chandler, a veteran rim protector who was quickly signed by the Lakers. There are people in the league who believe the Suns were doing the Lakers a favor but having Chandler land in their lap.
If Ariza landed in LA, there could be an uproar from fans who think the Suns are giving all their talent to the Lakers. Not to mention Sarver receiving backlash from a report earlier in the week. There were rumors that he is considering moving the Suns to Seattle or Vegas.
On Thursday, Sarver refuted those reports and tried to reassure fans it wasn’t true. “I’m 100 percent committed.” That statement appears a little flimsy when he is proposing two cities for potential relocation.
Despite Sarver attempting to be sound committed, his actions speak louder for him. If an owner is depending on public funding to renovate the arena, he might well start packing right now. As much as the fans may love their team, who wants to invest in a team that has been nonexistent since the Steve Nash era?
Clearly the owner is trying to look better in the public eye with his recent comments. However, pay close attention to what happens if the funding doesn’t come through. Relocation rumors will intensify, and Sarver’s true stance will come to light.