Report: Trail Blazers’ Trevor Ariza sitting out to spend time with son
Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza deemed that setup unacceptable for him.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza is opting-out of participation in the NBA’s Orlando restart of the season, committing instead to a one-month visitation window with his young son, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2020
Sources: Ariza has been involved in a custody case over his 12-year old son, and mother’s choice of granting a court-ordered one month visitation period during league’s quarantine of teams in Orlando left Ariza to choose those parenting responsibilities over competing in restart. https://t.co/STYQi2RGDW— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2020
Based on Ariza’s $12.2 million salary, this will cost Ariza $1,053,996 plus $131,749 for each play-in and playoff game Portland plays (up to a total of $1,844,492 in lost wages). However, that doesn’t account for the salary withholding all players face with league-wide revenue way down.
With just $1.8 million of his $12.8 million salary guaranteed next season, Ariza could become an unrestricted free agent at age 35 this offseason. He has proven to be a helpful glue guy on good teams.
Fair or not, this will increase concerns about Ariza’s commitment to losing teams. But Ariza can set his own priorities. Basketball isn’t everything. His son clearly matters significantly to him, as he is proving with this drastic and commendable step. Let teams considering signing Ariza decide what that means to them. That’s their issue, not Ariza’s.
For Portland, this a key loss. Since being acquired in January, Ariza had been starting at small forward, a position where the Trail Blazers have little depth. Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins provide frontcourt depth, and Carmelo Anthony can slide up from power forward. But Ariza was suited for his role. Portland’s road to the playoffs just got tougher.