Trevor Ariza does the totally expected ...
Meaning he exercised his player option, as announced by the Lakers today. As BK and I both felt (from both conversations with different people and simple common sense, given how much time Ariza missed due to injury), this decision was a given. And it's a good situation for both parties, assuming the small forward can remain healthy. Ariza likes it here and before getting hurt, he was fitting in nicely and is the team's best defending three not named "Kobe," "Bean" or "Bryant."
We'll be sure to clue you in when Chris Mihm inevitably follows suit with his contract option.
The official press release is below the jump.
TREVOR ARIZA EXERCISES PLAYER CONTRACT OPTION FOR 2008-09 SEASON
EL SEGUNDO – Lakers forward Trevor Ariza exercised a player contract option for the 2008-09 season, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Ariza, acquired by the Lakers this past season on Nov. 20 in a trade with the Orlando Magic, posted averages of 6.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.08 steals and 18.0 minutes in 24 games with the Lakers before suffering a fracture of the fourth metatarsal in his right foot Jan. 20 and missing the rest of the regular season and 11 playoff games.
Returning for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, the four-year veteran played in eight total postseason games, recording playoff career-highs in points (six), rebounds (five), steals (one) and blocks (one) in nine minutes during Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
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 before entering the NBA. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in his one season at UCLA.