Trevor Ariza heads to New Orleans

August, 12, 2010
8/12/10
5:00
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Archive
There's an alternate universe somewhere in which Trevor Ariza is still a Laker.

In this one, he's headed to New Orleans. I have no idea if he considers it a positive move or not, but given his reaction to signing in Houston after last season's botched- a word I use with a sense of understatement- negotiations with the Lakers, I doubt he wanted to go. Ariza seemed to embrace the Rockets and that they moved on him so fast after things fell through with L.A., along with the possibility of growing into a prominent role with a rock solid organization. He bought a house in Houston, and while his performance last season was uneven, Ariza definitely tried to step into a void for the Rockets.

Maybe it's because he had a chip on his shoulder, but I always got the sense Ariza wanted to cultivate a sense of ownership and identity in Houston. But an expensive offseason left the Rockets well into the luxury tax, and now Ariza is a Hornet. Playing with Chris Paul means he won't have to extend himself offensively too far beyond his skill set. Look for a lot of easy finishes at the rim for T.A. In that sense, Ariza could benefit.

But for a guy who once believed he'd find long term security in Los Angeles, any sense of stability is gone. The Hornets are trying to polish off an ownership change, and Paul could move in the next couple seasons. Who knows what the Hornets will look like a few years down the road? This will be the fifth different uniform Ariza has worn going into his seventh season. Is it far-fetched to think there will be more?

There's no guarantee Ariza would have been a Laker for life had he accepted the team's offer last season. Nothing in the NBA is permanent. Last year, he consistently said there were no regrets at the outcome.

Maybe it's unfair, but I didn't believe him then. I don't think I'd believe him now.

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