Now that Marcin Gortat is signed, Trevor Ariza is up next. You best believe that the Wizards want him back too, and as J Michael of CSN Washington notes, it's possible he wants to be back even more now that Gortat is back in the fold:
Soon after Marcin Gortat re-signed for five years and $60 million with the Wizards, Trevor Ariza -- in a somewhat surprising move -- was on the phone with the front office to discuss details on what could turn into a deal late Tuesday, several people with knowledge of the situation told CSN Washington.
The deal isn't done yet, though, because a lot of teams desire Ariza. We've seen rumors involving *deep breath* Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, the Clippers, the Lakers, Miami, Phoenix and Utah. Are all those teams seriously invested in Ariza? Probably not. Most see him as a backup plan to bigger plans or even a backup backup plan.
Nevertheless, this all creates a market, which likely drives up the price. The Wizards have always maintained they have a number they won't exceed to keep him, but we don't know what that number is. Chances are it's higher -- perhaps much higher -- than the number I presented here, but again, we don't know for sure. Michael indicates the number will grow if the contract length is shorter and lessen if the contract length is wider. (This is a concept that might have come in handy when negotiating with Gortat, but that ship has sailed).
At the very least, backup plans are being considered. The Wizards apparently reached out to Cleveland's Luol Deng, according to both Michael Lee of the Washington Post and Sam Amick of USA Today. That's curious because I'd think Deng would cost even more money, but perhaps not. The backup plans I had in mind involve much cheaper and less well-known players.
(As for Deng as a player, click here).
We'll see if the Wizards are stingier with Ariza's price than they were with Gortat or if their enthusiasm for bringing back their core of starters causes another large contract.
Update at 3:14 PM: The Washington Post's Brandon Parker reached out to Bradley Beal today, and Beal said he had recently spoken to Ariza. The swingman was reportedly weighing his options but "loves DC for sure."
Bradley Beal also said he met with Trevor Ariza in LA recently. Said Ariza is "kind of up in the air but he loves DC for sure" #Wizards— Brandon Parker (@brandoncparker) July 2, 2014
As some have intimated, he's likely content with staying in DC if a good offer presents itself, but he may be biding his time for a more enticing offer from a hometown contender.