NBA Trade Grades: Suns sending Trevor Ariza to Wizards

Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images /
2 of 3
NBA Trade Grades
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images /

Washington Wizards

The Wizards got the best player in this trade, and one they’re familiar with, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a home run. Ariza is a good two-way player, and he should help stabilize a dysfunctional locker room to some extent, but by the same token, isn’t that what he was supposed to do in Phoenix?

The Wizards’ chaos doesn’t even come close to the Suns’ raging dumpster fire, and as Tyson Chandler — and pretty much every other useful player who’s left Phoenix over the last five years — showed when he joined the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s entirely possible Ariza will look like a revitalized player on a more competitive team.

This season, Ariza has averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He’s shot a dismal 37.9 percent from the floor, but canned 36 percent of his 3s. His scoring, rebounding and shooting percentages should all improve with John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. surrounding him.

The Wizards rank 27th in 3-point percentage (32.8 percent) and 29th in defensive rating, two areas where Ariza can help right away. Wall’s familiarity and trust in him is also valuable, as Wojnarowski noted, and Ariza’s usefulness as a corner 3 specialist shouldn’t be overlooked:

Losing Kelly Oubre Jr. hurts, since he’s only 23 and in the middle of a career year, but as a restricted free agent this summer, Washington had little chance of affording him without blowing up the roster by unloading Wall, Beal and/or Porter. There’s an argument to be made that should be the path the Wizards take, however, and even if dealing away Oubre became necessary, not getting any sort of draft compensation in return is a massive loss.

Instead, all the Wizards are getting is Ariza, a 33-year-old on an expiring contract. They won’t suddenly become contenders in the East again with this move, and even if he’s cheaper to re-sign over the summer than Oubre, he won’t be cheap. There should also be some concern over how long he’ll continue to be an effective two-way player, given that he’ll turn 34 next summer.

This is not the long-term fix the Wizards needed; it’s simply putting a Band-Aid on the situation until the inevitable roster amputation arrives. Ariza will make them better in the short-term, and maybe that will be enough to revive this lost season. For the most part though, Washington just gave up a promising prospect in Oubre for a 33-year-old who does nothing to clear up the fog surrounding the team’s long-term future and may not even save its 2018-19 campaign.

Grade: C