By the look of things, the Los Angeles Lakers likely will not land Trevor Ariza in a trade. However, there is a perfectly good replacement option waiting in Chicago.
The Los Angeles Lakers were named as the frontrunners for Trevor Ariza once he became eligible to be traded on Dec. 15. Despite this, the Lakers were somehow not involved in the fiasco that surrounded Ariza on Friday night.
The Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and Memphis reportedly agreed on a three-team trade that would have sent Ariza to Washington. Kelly Oubre Jr. was the other big piece of the deal as he was set to go to Memphis.
However, the deal ultimately fell through as there was a misunderstanding between which Brooks was being sent to Phoenix. With the Wizards acting as the middleman, the Grizzlies reportedly offered MarShon Brooks to Phoenix. The Wizards and Suns thought it was Dillon Brooks.
You would think that would be a good sign for the Los Angeles Lakers, who could definitely still use Ariza’s talents and have the pieces to make a trade happen without sending any of the core. However, that is not the case.
Per David Aldridge, Suns owner Robert Carver was “adamant” about the Suns not trading Ariza to the Los Angeles Lakers.
With the deal falling through, I think it is safe to say that Carver still has those same sentiments and the Los Angeles Lakers may no longer be in the market for Ariza. That is fine, though, as there is another great option to explore in Chicago.
That option is Justin Holiday, who would be a great pick up for this front office and should have an impact similar (if not better) than the impact that Ariza would have had.
Ariza’s biggest impact is on the defensive side of the ball. We all saw how big of an impact he had in Houston and how he was one of the most important pieces in building a team that could dethrone the Warriors.
Holiday might not be as notorious as Ariza but he has put in good defensive numbers this season. The shooting guard/small forward is averaging 1.8 steals per game with a 111 defensive rating this season; which is actually two points better than Ariza’s 113 defensive rating.
Offensively, Holiday is a better option that Ariza as well. The 29-year-old is averaging 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. His 41.6 field goal percentage is only slightly lower than Ariza’s and his 39.4 three-point percentage is almost three and a half points higher than Ariza’s.
He has shown that he can be a great catch and shoot guy coming off of screens and has the length to play bigger than his six-foot-six frame.
The best part is the Chicago Bulls would be willing to move one of their best players this season because he is on an expiring contract and the team is tanking. This definitely would not cost the Lakers anyone from the core.
Contractually, the Lakers would also have to take in someone like Robin Lopez and would have to send Michael Beasley and a young asset alongside Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to make this deal work.
Either way, the asking price won’t be high at all and the Lakers should be willing to pay it. Not only would Holiday be a nice addition to this team, but he could also sign on past this season to be a role player off the bench after the Lakers land a second superstar.