An uneven swap...
The Houston Rockets have reached a multiyear deal with free agent Trevor Ariza, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday night.
The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because NBA rules prohibit announcing free-agent deals until next week, said the Rockets offered Ariza the full mid-level exception for the first year, about $5.6 million.
Ariza is coming to Houston just as Ron Artest decided to leave and play for the Los Angeles Lakers. Ariza is likely to take Artest's spot in the Rockets' starting lineup.
The 6-foot-8 Ariza averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Lakers last season, which ended with the NBA championship.
The 24-year-old Ariza earned $3.1 million last season and he boosted his value during the playoffs, when he averaged 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Ariza was acquired by the Lakers in a trade from Orlando in November 2007. He just completed his fifth NBA season after being drafted by the New York Knicks with the 43rd overall pick in 2004.
Ariza said after the Lakers' championship run that he was hoping to stay there. But his agent, David Lee, told KRIV-TV in Houston that Ariza got the impression that the Lakers didn't want him anymore.
"It was never about the money," Lee said. "It was about being at a place where he felt wanted and appreciated."
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey did not immediately return a phone message on Thursday night.
He flew to Las Vegas on Thursday to meet with Ariza, a sign that he was already expecting Artest to leave.
The Rockets will need Ariza's versatility and perimeter shooting early next season, because they know they'll be missing Tracy McGrady for the bulk of next season. The seven-time All-Star is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee and could be out until February.
The Rockets are also awaiting a definitive prognosis on Yao, who sustained a hairline fracture in his left foot in the playoffs. Morey made an aggressive pitch to free agent center Marcin Gortat shortly after the free agency period began on Wednesday.
An uneven swap...
Ariza just made a really stupid decision.
First, he's not so great that MLE money from the Lakers was disrespectful. I think the guy read his own playoff hype and thought single digits scoring was somehow worth a big contract. Second, he just went from a team that will likely be a serious contender for a championship to a team that basically just imploded: TMac and Yao might never play again (and if they do, they will not be the same) and they just lost Artest (which I'm guessing he knew before he signed). Houston is going to be mired in mediocrity for at least a few years.
And Ariza STILL isn't going to get paid a big contract! Some of these guys just aren't very bright.
SOMEONE will pay for THIS!
On top of that he supposedly turned down an above MLE deal with Toronto. I know lot's don't want to move to Canada, but I think he'd have been a very good fit with Bosh and Calderon.
I dunno what he's thinking.
Hope Resurrected: "I think I can bring an attitude to a team as far as, ‘All right, no matter what, we are not losing this game'." - Kemba Walker
"Its okay to be bad; just so long as you're bad ass." - Keetch
"I don't care if he uses a sophisticated pulley and tackle system to get his shot off if the bitch goes in."-Mustachio
Speaking of Toronto. He's another Marion. Fit well in one system, will be traded for the rest of his career while living in regret.
"Why did I leave?" he'll say. Then Bobcats planet will forget about this thread and we will watch the logo turn black and white.
I've seen it a hundred times.
Gordon: I never thanked you. Batman: And you'll never have to