The Phoenix Suns trading Trevor Ariza seems like a foregone conclusion at this point, as a report has indicated that the veteran swingman will be traded once he’s eligible to get moved on Dec. 15. The Suns are rebuilding, and there isn’t much of a use for a 33-year-old swingman who would be coveted on the trade market.
The issue is that the team that seems the most interested in Ariza right now is the Los Angeles Lakers, but it’s hard to find a trade that makes sense involving the two teams. That means a third suitor would have to swoop in to help make things happen, and ironically enough, that might be the team that lost Ariza to Phoenix over the summer.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Houston Rockets are eyeing the chance to get in on the Ariza chatter, but not for their former 3-and-D wing. Instead, Houston would be interested in getting involved with the hopes of landing Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
“In desperate search for an upgrade at the wing, the Rockets are targeting Caldwell-Pope, league sources said,” Charania wrote. “The Lakers have pursued Suns forward Trevor Ariza, along with several other contenders, according to league sources.”
Caldwell-Pope is on a one-year deal and has the ability to veto any trade, but Charania writes that he “would only sign off on a trade should a deal arise that benefit Caldwell-Pope’s career.” Houston could suffice, as it’s desperate for wing help and Caldwell-Pope would satiate their need for perimeter shooting and the ability to switch on the perimeter defensively.
Charania mentions that these three going into a deal would require a fourth team coming along to take Brandon Knight’s contract for Houston, and for now, no moves are imminent. But with trade season about to heat up in the coming days, this is one to watch.