The Los Angeles Lakers would reportedly love to acquire veteran swingman and former Laker Trevor Ariza.
Ariza just signed a one-year $15 million free-agent deal with the woeful Phoenix Suns. As the Suns’ season goes in the toilet and with the Lakers looking more like a real contender, the two teams could be trade partners. The main piece the Lakers are willing to move is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He is in the midst of a one-year $12 million deal.
Ariza is averaging 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and connecting on just under 35 percent of his threes.
There aren’t any teams in the NBA who can absorb KCP’s deal without dipping into the luxury tax or getting creative with some salary-cutting moves.
That means any team that gets involved with this deal would have to dip into the luxury tax or attach a player that can keep them just under the cap limit. The ideal team would be a contender that sees a spot for KCP in their rotation or one who has designs on moving him in a bigger deal.
The Sacramento Kings have the most cap room, but it’s hard to imagine why they would be interested in KCP. However, an interesting squad might be the Philadelphia 76ers. With Markelle Fultz out and the team in need of perimeter shooting, KCP could be a decent 3-and-D option.
He’s only making 34 percent of his threes thus far this season, but he made a career-high 38 percent last season. The Sixers could absorb his deal while moving just into the luxury tax, unless of course, they send back a low-salary player to perhaps climb out of that territory.
Aside from the Kings and 76ers, the only other squad that seems suitable as a third trade partner is the Indiana Pacers. They are a little over $17 million away from falling into the luxury tax penalty. KCP could be a rotation player or trade piece for Indiana down the road.