3 bold predictions for Trevor Ariza in his first season back with the Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers have had an eventful offseason so far. They shocked the NBA world when they traded for star guard Russell Westbrook, sending Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell Pope and the 22nd pick (Isaiah Jackson) to the Washington Wizards in the process.
LA’strade added a third star in Los Angeles to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It did put the Lakers in a tough cap situation, though, making it hard for them to bring in free agents. However, players are reportedly lining up to sign up cheap deals with the Purple and Gold to compete for a championship. That much has already been shown after LA brought back four former players in Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore.
All of these players will make a big impact on the Lakers, but we will be focusing on Ariza in this article. Here are three bold predictions for Trevor Ariza in his first season back with the Lakers.
3. Trevor Ariza plays 25 plus minutes per game
Trevor Ariza is 36 years old, but he is still a quality role player. Last season, Ariza averaged 9.4 points per game along with 4.8 rebounds for the Miami Heat. He started for most of the season when he was healthy, but he will likely see a bench role with the Lakers.
Ariza should see around 25 minutes or more for the Lakers next season. He is a great backup wing that can defend opposing teams’ offensive threats. Look for Ariza to make a bigger impact than people may think for the Purple and Gold in 2021-22.
2. He shoots 37 percent plus from three
Ariza has been a solid 3-point shooter throughout his career, but he has thrived in open situations.
Fortunately, with Westbrook, James, and Davis set to get a ton of attention from the opposing defense, Ariza could find a lot of open 3-point shots. With that said, he has a good shot at shooting 37 percent or higher from three.
Last season, Ariza only shot 35 percent from behind the arc with the Heat. However. the season prior, he shot 37.2 percent. That certainly that he is capable of doing it again with the Lakers.
1. Trevor Ariza becomes key wing defender off the bench
One thing the Lakers lacked last season was a proven wing defender off the bench. Ariza can come in and fill this role immediately. He has shown throughout the past year his willingness to take on tough assignments and pester the opposing players.
Ariza will be a key role player for the Lakers, especially in the playoffs. Defensive value is elevated in the playoffs, meaning Ariza’s impact will be even more crucial in the postseason.
The Lakers are primed to have a great season after adding several veteran players. While they lost a key role player in Alex Caruso, they have added some that fit around their Big 3. Ariza, Howard, Ellington, and Bazemore are all bound to make a serious impact on LA.
They still have a ton of work to do with free agency just beginning. The Lakers don’t have a ton of cap space, but veterans are still expected to sign with them for a chance to compete for a championship. Look for the Purple and Gold franchise to be back to legitimate contender status with a healthy and newly built roster.