Trevor Ariza is an excellent role player. He was important for the Rockets last season and won a title with the Lakers. He’s a prototype 3-and-D player who can thrive on an elite team.
That is why it was a stunner when Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reported that Ariza had agreed to a one-year deal worth $15 million with the Suns. It was surprising to see a player who started for the team with the best record (65-17) in the NBA last season sign with the team with the worst (21-61).
This isn’t to say that it’s a bad signing for the Suns, or even a bad decision on the part of Ariza. If the Suns are going to turn their franchise back in the right direction then they need talent and sometimes the best way to get a veteran on a bad team is to offer them a big contract and hope they take the money. In Ariza’s case, he wanted to take the money — he more than doubles his $7.4 million salary from last season.
This could turn out to be one of those great signings that pay off big time for the Suns. If they have a positive culture change, and start winning games, then Ariza could be seen as one of those first steps they made in a positive direction. It just takes one.