Suns guard Devin Booker referred to Trevor Ariza as a player who was “loved in the locker room” in Phoenix, but the club’s slow start to the season took a toll on the veteran forward — sources tell Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic that Ariza “checked out mentally” early in the 2018/19 campaign. The decision to trade him was a mutual one made by the Suns and Ariza’s camp, Rankin adds.
Ariza, who is joining the Wizards for the second time in his career, will be thrown into the fire right away by his new team — he’ll be in Washington’s starting lineup on Tuesday night, head coach Scott Brooks said today (Twitter link via Candace Buckner of The Washington Post).
As Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington observes, Ariza primarily came off the bench during his first season in D.C. back in 2012/13, but he has started every game since then, so it’s no surprise that he’ll slot right into the starting five for the Wizards. His old teammates are looking forward to playing alongside him again, as Standig relays.
“It’s always great to add a guy like Trevor back, one of the best veterans and teammates I had,” John Wall said. “We know what he brings to the table.”
Here’s more on the Wizards:
- In an article for NBC Sports Washington, Chase Hughes explores whether the Wizards got enough for Kelly Oubre after spending several years developing him. Within the piece, a source tells Hughes that Oubre and the Wizards never got very close to reaching a deal on a contract extension during the offseason.
- Sam Dekker is turning out to not just be a throw-in in a trade that saved the Wizards some money — the veteran forward has earned regular minutes in Washington’s rotation during his first week and a half with his new team, as Ben Standig details for NBC Sports Washington. “He cuts to the basket, he moves the ball, he plays hard, he brings energy, he plays with the proper respect for the game,” head coach Scott Brooks said of Dekker. “That is what I love about him, he always seems to be prepared. He doesn’t have to turn the switch on, it’s on.”
- Otto Porter was diagnosed with a Grade II strain of his right vastus medialis, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link), who explains that the vastus medialis is part of the quadriceps muscle group. Porter will likely sit out until next week, Buckner reports.
- Earlier today, the Wizards finalized their signing of Chasson Randle and we took a closer look at the timing of that move.