Suns forward Trevor Ariza won’t officially become eligible to be traded until Saturday, but plenty of potential suitors are checking in now to inquire on his availability. According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link), Phoenix has heard from “no less than eight teams” with interest in Ariza.
A report on Sunday indicated that the Lakers were looking to acquire Ariza – who is on a one-year, $15MM contract – and Gambadoro confirms that Los Angeles is indeed one of those clubs that has inquired. However, nothing is close at this point, per Gambadoro, who notes that the Suns aren’t interested in a package of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a bench player.
Of course, Sunday’s report on L.A.’s interest in Ariza indicated that the Lakers and Suns would have to find a third team to facilitate a deal anyway, since KCP likely wouldn’t have any more interest in joining the last-place Suns than they’d have in acquiring him. Caldwell-Pope has the ability to veto any trade he’s involved in, so he’d require a favorable landing spot if he’s dealt.
Whether they pursue a trade with the Lakers or another team, it seems the Suns will have a number of options with Ariza. Still, Gambadoro cautions (via Twitter) that he doesn’t believe Phoenix is all that interested in adding more projects to its roster — the team wants players that can contribute now.
That’s a somewhat odd stance for a team with an NBA-worst 4-22 record — even if Suns ownership, management, and fans may be tired of perpetually rebuilding, the time seems right to roll the dice on a high-upside “project.” But if Gambadoro’s intel is accurate, that would significantly reduce the odds of a Suns deal involving someone like Markelle Fultz.