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Trevor Ariza's free-agent market begins to take shape

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As many as six other teams could be chasing the Wizards' free agent.

Andy Lyons

UPDATE: It's July 1, and Trevor Ariza is getting a ton of calls. The Wizards

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Martell Webster's unfortunate back injury has given Trevor Ariza's agent a bit more leverage in negotiating a new deal with the Wizards. One could easily make the case that keeping Ariza is now even more important with Webster's status for next year up in the air.

And as expected, the Wizards will have competition. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reports the Los Angeles Lakers have interest if their biggest-fish plays (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, etc.) fall through. Houston, Dallas, Detroit, the Clippers and Phoenix are also "expected to pursue" Ariza.

Of course, the level of those expectations likely differ. Ariza certainly can't be on the Rockets' radar until they know the big fish aren't available and take care of Chandler Parsons, for example. Phoenix, too, is chasing the big guns. Throwing those five teams in a list also benefits one person: Ariza.

But it's not a surprise that Ariza would generate some interest after the season he had. The Mavericks and Suns have cap space, and the Pistons may too depending on what they do with Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey. There are surely other teams that can come out of nowhere and enter the sweepstakes.

Only time will tell.