It appears as if the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t done trying to make moves quite yet. They’ve had a very productive offseason and added some key pieces to their bench and starting lineup. However, they could look to add some more defense on the wing.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Lakers are keeping an eye on what might happen with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Trevor Ariza:
The Lakers are monitoring Oklahoma City’s Trevor Ariza should he become free, sources say. As of now, both Ariza and George Hill are expected to begin the season on the Thunder roster. There is also interest in Hill’s services around the league.
Ariza spent last season with the Portland Trail Blazers but was traded three times this offseason until he finally landed in Oklahoma City. That said, the Thunder aren’t really in the business of retaining veteran talent these days. Ariza is 35 and isn’t a valuable piece in a rebuild. He’s still a strong defender and a solid 3-point shooter. He’d certainly be able to help a team like the Lakers.
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Ariza Won a Championship With the Lakers
Ariza has been in the NBA for a very long time and he won a championship with the Lakers back in 2009. He spent time on the squad that featured Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. He was a very important piece to that championship team as he was one of their best wing defenders.
It would certainly be something if he could come back to Los Angeles over a decade later and win another championship in Kobe’s honor. Not only would it be a great story, but it would also be a good pickup for the purple and gold. The Clippers are probably the only team in the Western Conference that could possibly threaten the Lakers this year. They have two of the best wings in the NBA in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Ariza is very good at defending the wing so he could be valuable in those matchups.
Lakers Have Also Shown Interest in George Hill Previously
In Charania’s report, he also mentioned that there should be interest around the league for George Hill. Should he hit free agency, it would be a surprise if the Lakers tried to pick him up. NBA Insider Gery Woelfel reported last month that Los Angeles was interested in a potential trade for Hill.
If they can sign him in free agency without giving anything up, even better. Hill would make sense for the Lakers. He’s a good 3-point shooter and has played with LeBron James in the past. The Lakers still haven’t really replaced Avery Bradley quite yet and Hill would be a decent replacement, despite not being as strong on defense. Ariza would probably be the better fit because of his defense but the Lakers could do worse than add a player like Hill.