The Washington Wizards put together the best season in some time last year. They posted a record of 44-38 and returned to the postseason where they took down the Chicago Bulls in five games, going a perfect 3-0 in Chicago. They were ousted in the second round by the Indiana Pacers in six games.
The Warriors entered the offseaon with two key free agents, center Marcin Gortat and swingman Trevor Ariza. Now that the Wizards have agreed to a five-year, $60 million deal with Gortat, they will shift their focus to Ariza.
J. Michael of CSN Washington believes the Wizards could lock up Ariza soon.
Ariza, who made $7.7 million last season, watched the USA vs. Belgium game in the World Cup at a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey, Calif., near the offices of his agent Rob Pelinka, and then listened to the pitch from Wizards coach Randy Wittman and director of player development Ed Tapscott…
…And they also were encouraged by Ariza meeting with Wall and Bradley Beal in Los Angeles earlier this summer for dinner, something that’s a rare occurrence for a franchise that had been noted for chemistry issues on and off the court.
Ariza was expected to take a few days, after hearing pitches from other teams, before getting on the phone with president Ernie Grunfeld to discuss a possible deal. However, a person with knowledge of the situation said he may have been “inspired” to just get a deal done such as Gortat who didn’t hesitate in re-signing. Plus, Ariza’s relationship with Gortat is rock solid.
Ariza will have plenty of suitors – the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns are all reportedly interested.
Ariza went for 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He shot 45.6% from the field, 40.7% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free throw line.