Interesting article on ESPN this evening. If I were to tell you there was a super-athletic, 24-year-old SF out there who played a major role on an NBA Finals winning team, would you be interested? What if I also told you he would be semi-affordable and that we might be able to pluck him away from one of our biggest rivals? The L@kers are in a bit of a fix with 74 million already committed in salary next year for only 8 players, not including Odom or Ariza. We could potentially use our cap room to make an offer to Ariza of around 6-7 million per year, a reasonable amount for a starting small forward with Finals experience. This is an amount the Lakers would conceivably match, but that would be a hard pill to swallow considering it would cost them 12-14 million per year in real dollars due to the luxury tax. Furthermore, the L@kers would be hard pressed to find a replacement since they would only have the mid-level exception to work with. I don't think I'd be comfortable offering much more than that (and we likely couldn't anyway unless we shed some more salary first).
To be honest, I don't see Trevor Ariza as being a huge upgrade over anyone on our roster. His stats don't stick out to me much other than a pretty good shooting percentage (with only an average 3p%) and 1.7 steals per game. What is more appealing than the stats, though, is the fact that he has played (and won) in the NBA Finals, played for a great coach, and played alongside a $uperduper$t@r, so he knows what it takes to fit in on a winning team. I've seen and heard the arguments for the Hedo Turkoglus and Tayshawn Princes of the world, and they are good arguments, but here we have a chance to nab a good player who fits our window and can mesh with our stars while also weakening the best team in the conference. Opportunities like this don't come along every day. This would also give us a chance to include some of our other more appealing pieces like Outlaw or Webster for a proven PG without it hurting too much, rather than trying to convince teams that Sergio is their PG of the future.
So what say you? You may not be enthralled with Trevor Ariza the player very much, but does the situation raise your eye brows at all? And further, are there any other players out there that appeal to you not only because they fit what we're trying to do, but also because acquiring them would hurt some of our main competitors for the division or conference crown? Looking forward to the discussion.