The Washington Wizards are talking to, Small Forward, Luol Deng. However, they are still focused on trying to re-sign Trevor Ariza first.
Washington Wizards have talked to free agent Luol Deng, but still determined to re-sign Trevor Ariza, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2014
Ariza was a big part of the Wizards taking a step and making the playoffs for the first time since 2008. He averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds per game.
What makes Ariza so attractive to the Wizards, and other teams, is that he shot 40% from three last year while playing solid defense. That is extremely helpful in a league that seems to require every winning team have a three and D player on the roster.
While Ariza is well liked, that 40% was also a career high in a contract year. It’s always dangerous to sign a player coming off a big contract year, expecting the same results. On the other hand, Ariza’s three point percentage has had a steady increase over the years.
If the Wizards can’t re-sign Ariza, they can always attempt to sign Deng. After a disaster year in Cleveland, Deng wanted out, and he wanted to get paid. Deng’s claim to fame is being the guy the Bulls gave an insane amount of minutes to. Even when Derrick Rose was healthy, Deng was commonly seen at the top of most minutes averaged in Chicago. He’s a great defender and a solid creator. But many think his jump shot is beginning to fade as he ages.
The Wizards signing either of these players would be a risk. Ariza because of a contract year and Deng because of age. So it makes sense they want to take a risk on the player they had last season rather than the new face.
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