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Report: Wizards bring Trevor Ariza back to Washington with Suns trade

SB Nation logo SB Nation 12/15/2018 Michael D. Sykes, II
Trevor Ariza standing in front of a crowd © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards would reportedly send Kelly Oubre, Jr. to Memphis

The Wizards have reportedly agreed to a deal with the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies to construct a three team deal sending Kelly Oubre, Jr. to Memphis, Austin Rivers, Marshon Brooks and Wayne Selden to Phoenix and returning Trevor Ariza to Washington, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The Wizards may also receive a conditional 2019 second round pick.

The move will likely be ratified by the league once Ariza, who signed in Phoenix over the summer, is available to be moved on December 15th. The Wizards will save $2.1 million in salary, including luxury taxes, from the trade. Ariza is being paid $15 million on a one year deal.

What Ariza brings

The Wizards are hopeful that Ariza is the locker room veteran they need to turn things around. Before he brings anything on the court, he’s a proven winner. He also knows the Wizards’ core well after spending two seasons here.

He does the little things when he’s at his best. He’s still a solid defender at 33 years old and is an able 3-point shooter at 36% on the year. In his last season in Washington, he shot a career high 41% from deep.

Ariza has struggled so far with the Suns this season shooting just 38% from the field. But so did everyone in Phoenix — that shouldn’t an indictment on him. He’s certainly may not solve all the Wizards’ issues, but he shouldn’t hurt.

What they’re sending out in Oubre and Rivers

The Wizards will avoid paying Kelly Oubre a potentially massive contract this offseason, but they’ll also become a lot less athletic. Oubre wasn’t a consistent defender, but when he dialed in he was vicious. He became a better offensive player this season finishing at the rim, but still was a liability outside of the paint. He also became a black hole at times on offense.

Rivers’ strung together some solid performances this season, but he also is shooting a career low 30% from deep. He’s been a solid defender, but has also been a liability on offense. Things just weren’t working out for him here and a fresh start could be good.

Rivers’ absence opens up a ton of open minutes at guard. We’ll likely see more time from Sam Dekker down the line. Troy Brown Jr. may potentially be able to crack to rotation at guard as well. Tomas Satoransky will also likely be more of a fixture in the lineup.

The potential downside

Like any deal, this one might not work out. The Wizards may get a pick out of it, but they also gave away a young player with potential that could’ve been shaped. With the Wizards’ stacking salaries, it was almost impossible to keep Oubre. However, they may have pulled the trigger a bit too early. Maybe he fetches more at the deadline?

And, again, Ariza is having a down season this year. Is it because he was playing in Phoenix? Who knows. But the numbers are what they are and he’s no longer in his prime. Will he be productive again? Will he be able to fix the locker room?

This is a risky deal and it could completely backfire. It may not do anything. It could even be great. Only time will tell.

Either way, shout out to Kelly Oubre. We’ll miss you, Tsunami Papi. Flourish in Memhis.


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