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Trevor Ariza praises Kings’ desire to improve

Veteran forward Trevor Ariza is coming to the Sacramento Kings bringing reinforcements to a young team that narrowly missed the playoffs last season.

The 34-year-old signed a two-year deal this offseason worth $25 million with the Kings and hopes to continue to an emerging team.

Ariza told NBCSports California’s James Ham, “the players on this team want to be better.”

The 6-foot-8 wing has spent 15 years in the NBA. He was selected with the 14th pick in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2004 draft by the New York Knicks. He’s competed for seven teams and reached the postseason on nine separate occasions, winning a ring with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, starting for the team alongside NBA greats Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

Ariza last played for the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards during the 2018-19 season. Before that, he was on Mike D’Antoni’s Houston Rockets team where he played with star shooting guard James Harden.

The Kings signing Ariza isn’t the only veteran experience they’re bringing to a franchise and fanbase starving for playoff contention. Sacramento also re-signed 27-year-old Harrison Barnes, who they acquired at the NBA’s trade deadline last February. Barnes is signed to a new deal worth $88 million over the next four years. He averaged 14.3 points in 28 games for the Kings.

Ariza has averaged 10.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.5 steals in 29.8 minutes per in 1,011 career appearances in his 14-year tenure, shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 35.1 percent from three-point range, and 72.8 percent from the free throw line. He played one season at UCLA before declaring for the draft in 2004.