Trevor Ariza will not be with the team for the foreseeable future as he has elected to attend to family matters. Ariza originally came to the Thunder in a trade that involved the Detroit Pistons.
Ariza sat out of the Bubble when he was with the Blazers due to the same family matters. The Thunder were aware of this when they traded for him.
Ariza started the offseason with the Blazers but was traded back to Houston in the Robert Covington trade. The Rockets then traded him to the Pistons to complete the Christian Wood sign-and-trade. The Pistons then included Ariza in the three team deal between Oklahoma City, Detroit and Dallas. Eventually, the the 35-year-old landed in Oklahoma City.
The news is surprising as many assumed Ariza would get one of the 15 roster spots. Ariza was expected to be part of the Thunder’s rotation. However, his sabbatical means that the only active players on the Thunder roster with more than three years of NBA experience are Al Horford, George Hill, Mike Muscala and Darius Miller.
Ariza averaged 8 points and 4.6 rebounds a game last season with the Kings and Blazers. Ariza also shot the ball really well from three as he shot 3.9 attempts a game on very good shooting at 37.2%.
Even with Ariza’s lofty $12.8M salary this season, contending teams will be knocking on Sam Presti’s door asking for the services of the veteran 3 & D forward. Ariza is an experienced, versatile wing who has seen it all in the NBA; that sort of knowledge is invaluable to contending teams.
Moreover, his market should also benefit from the fact that he is an expiring salary. Teams will not be making a financial commitment for the long-term if they choose to trade for Trevor Ariza.
A few people have linked this move with the Andre Iguodala situation last season with Memphis, but I disagree. Ariza has been accustomed to losing situations before in his career and he sat out Portland’s playoff push this past August. He has legitimate family matters that need to be dealt with and this should be not trivialised.
Everybody here at ‘Welcome to Loud City’ hopes that Ariza is okay and he can eventually make his return to the court.