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Trevor Ariza meets with Heat as process continues to drag out

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The Wizards' small forward met with Pat Riley earlier in the week, but would have to accept a pay cut to go there. Such is the nature of negotiations.

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It's no secret that the Wizards want to keep Trevor Ariza. It's also true that Ariza enjoyed last year's team and would probably sign on for the long term assuming the current mix and chemistry could be maintained.

Yet Sunday arrives with no deal and more waiting. One reason: Ariza has been considering alternatives, including the Miami Heat, who are coming after him to be their big signing in addition to keeping the Big 3. Via Woj:

Barring Bosh and Wade caving on dramatic pay decreases, Miami's best offers still promise to be significantly below the market values of such free agents as Trevor Ariza, Luol Deng and Pau Gasol.

Pat Riley went to L.A. to meet with Ariza and Gasol separately, then met with Deng on Saturday. Per Woj, the Heat are pitching a first-year salary of $5.5 million, which is less than the Wizards could pay should they choose. It does sound like Ariza's market value is higher and the chances of Miami securing him are smaller, via Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick.

Still, it's not a bad thing that this is dragging out. It's merely the natural state of negotiations. On one side, the Wizards appear to be holding firm on the price they're willing to pay. They're also talking to other wing players that can be had for less money. On the other, Ariza and his agent are looking at other options, whether it's contending teams like Miami and the Clippers or other clubs that could offer him more money.

Sit tight, y'all. This will eventually be resolved.