Potential Free agents with CAA connections: Trevor Ariza
Of all the incomprehensible Knick trades in the last 15 years, the one trade that continues to stick out is sending a 20-year-old Trevor Ariza to the Orlando Magic for Steve Francis. It was blasphemy that Larry Brown convinced Isiah Thomas to acquire Francis—a move that ultimately spelled the doom for Brown’s tenure as coach.
Now 35, Ariza’s evolved his game over the 16 years he’s been in the NBA. As a Knick, Ariza wowed the Madison Square Garden faithful with his quickness and athleticism, alongside his defensive potential. After his Knick tenure, Ariza developed a reliable three-point shot and ballhandling skills to complement his overall offensive repertoire.
Ariza has a $12.8 million contract that’s only guaranteed for $1.8 million in the 2020-21 season. He recently opted out of the resumption of the NBA season. However, the Portland Trailblazers have very minimal cap space heading into free agency due to the extensions signed by both Damian Lillard & CJ McCollum. The Blazers may consider re-signing Hassan Whiteside, further complicating Ariza’s future with the team.
With a need to free up cap space, the Blazers would have no choice but to cut Ariza. While another Blazer is the most likely to sign, it would be fun for the Knicks to finally bring back Ariza and give him proper justice. His tenure in New York was cut way too short. Ariza’s 3-and-D game can fit very well on the team and he can also be a great mentor for guys like Kevin Knox, who need that extra push on defense.