Lakers Acquire Trevor Ariza for Brian Cook, Mo Evans
We now interrupt the "What to do at the center spot?" post I was going to put up for this announcement- The Lakers have traded Brian Cook and Mo Evans to the Magic for forward Trevor Ariza. The fourth year forward, late of UCLA, averaged 8.9 points and 4.3 boards a night last season in 22.4 minutes a night. He's under contract this season for $2.7 mil, and assuming I'm reading the HoopsHype.com salary page correctly (it's rough on the colorblind), has a player option next season for $2.9 and change.
My initial reaction: They lose some offense on the outside, obviously, since Ariza can't shoot at all. But he's extremely athletic, runs the floor well, and can finish around the rim. He's a very active forward defensively, is long, and can rebound. And at 22, Ariza still is considered a player with a lot of room to grow. (For those of you interested in this sort of thing, John Hollinger's evaluations compare him to a young Al Harrington.) This isn't going to win them a championship this season, but since Cook and Radmanovic's skills were redundant, moving Cook won't hurt. And I don't think he was all that popular among management. Mo, for all his lack of polish on that end is a more versatile offensive player, but isn't quite big enough to defend larger threes. Great guy, but since Ariza can play some D, losing Mo won't really hurt.
In a couple years, this could turn out to be an outstanding deal for L.A. Right now, my initial reaction puts it at positive, and well above the "no harm, no foul" threshold. At the very least, I can't believe it'll make 'em worse. The two for one move also opens up a roster spot, which could be used down the road, or in the near future depending on Kwame's health.
Press release below.
LAKERS ACQUIRE TREVOR ARIZA FROM ORLANDO MAGIC
EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired 6’8’’ forward Trevor Ariza from the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward Brian Cook and guard Maurice Evans, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Ariza, currently in his 4th year in the NBA, averaged 8.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game last season with the Magic.
Ariza was originally drafted by the New York Knicks with the 43rd overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. Ariza is originally from Los Angeles (Westchester High School) and played one season at UCLA prior to entering the NBA. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in his one season at UCLA.