The Trail Blazers made their trade with the Kings official Tuesday morning, which means people like Terry Stotts can finally talk about it.
Portland traded for Trevor Ariza and Wenyen Gabriel and forward/center Caleb Swanigan from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver and two second round draft picks.
The biggest name included in the deal and the player that will have the most impact and production for the Blazers is Trevor Ariza.
While the roles of Gabriel and Swanigan will be small, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts has greater plans with the former NBA Champion small forward.
"Trevor Ariza will probably be our starting small forward," Terry Stotts said on NBC Sports Northwest's simulcast show of 620 Rip City Radio's Dan & Nigel in the Mornings. "He has great experience. He has been in his career a very good defender. He’s a good three point shooter, so he’ll be able to space. His experience will blend really well with the starters. He’s a good guy. I think he’ll be a great fit for us."
This shouldn't come as a surprise. With Rodney Hood sidelined for the season with a torn Achillies and the vacancy left by Kent Bazemore as the replacement starter, Ariza was the presumptive choice at SF. The Blazers don't have a more viable option other than Ariza starting at small forward.
Ariza (6-8, 215) has averaged 6.0 points (38.8% FG, 35.2% 3-PT, 77.8% FT), 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.09 steals and 24.7 minutes in 32 games for the Kings this season. A 15-year veteran and 2009 NBA Champion with the L.A. Lakers, Ariza, 34, holds career averages of 10.5 points (42.2% FG, 35.1% 3-PT, 72.9% FT), 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.49 steals in 1,043 games (710 starts) with New York, Orlando, the L.A. Lakers, Houston, New Orleans, Washington, Phoenix and Sacramento. Ariza was originally selected by the New York Knicks with the 43rd overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft after playing one season at UCLA.
NBCS Kings Insider James Ham weighed in on the type of player the Trail Blazers are getting in Ariza:
“Ariza signed a two-year, $25 million deal in the offseason to provide veteran leadership and depth at the forward position. The final year is only guaranteed for $1.8 million, making him slightly more than an expiring contract for Portland. He was a calming influence on the Kings younger players, especially on the defensive end. He's not as mobile as he once was and his 3-point shot goes on the fritz at inopportune times, but he’s a solid player that can help replace some of the defense that the Blazers lost during the offseason with the departures of Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu.”
He will wear No. 8 for the Trail Blazers.