NBA -- Lakers eye familiar face for playoffs push
By Bernard Tanpua
Tue, 11 Dec 2018
LOS ANGELES -- In a season filled with sweeping highs and unpredictable lows, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly eyeing a familiar face to help with their playoffs push.
According to multiple reports, including ESPN, the Lakers are in talks with the Phoenix Suns to acquire the services of veteran Trevor Ariza, who won a title with the Lakers in 2009 alongside the now retired Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, who now plays for the Spurs.
Now 33 years old, Ariza continues on with his fine play, averaging 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists with the Phoenix Suns. He left the Houston Rockets this past off-season for a one-year is $15 deal with the Suns where he can play mentor to young stars Devin Booker and rookie big man DeAndre Ayton, the No.1 pick in last June's NBA draft/
Lakers shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is the main piece of what is reported to be a larger package. Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year deal to stay with the Lakers this summer for $12 million. But he is struggling with his play, averaging just 8.5 points per in 21 minutes a game.
"You have a ball-dominant guy like LeBron that makes plays for everybody. You gotta just be ready at any point because you might not get a shot in the first 15 minutes and you might get three or four after that," Pope told The Los Angeles Times.
Ariza's veteran presence and ability to play tough perimeter defense makes him an attractive piece for contenders like the Lakers who are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference with a 16-10 record.
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