The Los Angeles Lakers are very much interested in securing the talents of Phoenix Suns star, Trevor Ariza. However, the two sides can’t strike a win-win deal without the addition of a third party.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN recently revealed in a report that the two franchises were in conversation about the 33-year-old forward.
There’s no trade that can be made before the 15th of December since Trevor Ariza signed with the Suns as a free agent during this offseason.
With this week full of speculation on whether the sides can find a way to work out a deal, Rob Perez of the Action Network has come up with a potential third franchise that could benefit making a trade with the Suns and Lakers.
Perez believes that the Philadelphia 76ers may be the missing piece to the puzzle, he has created a hypothetical trade package that would benefit all parties involved and most importantly help the Lakers get their target.
Here’s what each of the three sides would receive:
Philadelphia 76ers receive: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL 1st Round Pick (2019), PHX 1st Round Pick (2019, via Milwaukee)
Los Angeles Lakers receive: Trevor Ariza
Phoenix Suns receive: Markelle Fultz
It’s no secret that Markell Fultz is already halfway out the door of Philadelphia and the franchise will be looking to get as much as they can in return for the former number 1 draft pick. No matter whether the Sixers trade Fultz now or trade him later, it’s still a risk considering there’s no telling if his stocks will rise or continue to fall. There’s a big chance that this is as high as Fultz stocks may stay which means that the Sixers may no get a better deal than this when trading him.
Perez is under the belief that removing Fultz now and bringing in a player like Caldwell-Pope can only be a good thing for the franchise as it would help their issue of lack of perimeter shooting depth.
The Sixers would also gain two draft picks in this hypothetical three-way trade, the Lakers first round pick of 2019 and the Suns first round pick of 2019 via the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks draft pick is protected for selections 1-3 and 17-30 in 2019 and is not unprotected until 2021. Right now, Milwaukee is one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and it’s unlikely the side will be going anywhere anytime soon so a draft pick in the 20’s would be expected for the Bucks. The Lakers pick will most likely fall in a similar range depending on how far LeBron can take his new side.
It’s certainly something the Sixers should think about but what’s most important for the franchise is working out if they want to keep him or trade him as soon as possible.
The hypothetical trade may be something the Suns would be willing to do considering they’re in crisis mode with just 4 wins for the season and the worst record in the Western Conference by far. Gaining Fultz while only losing Trevor Ariza and a draft pick would be a massive win when you consider the 13-year difference between the two. Fultz has so much potential, it’s true that we don’t know if he will live up to it but when you’re travelling this poorly, you just need to take the risk.
Maybe is too much for the Lakers to give up a first-round pick because Trevor Ariza is a free agent next summer, so maybe a 2nd round pick has more sense.
Trading out Caldwell-Pope and adding Ariza is a pretty good upgrade for the Lakers who could push for a serious playoffs run if everything falls into place.
Rob Perez’s hypothetical three way trade has the ability to be a Win-Win-Win trade. However, it does rely heavily on the Sixers and whether they’re willing to enter these trade talks with the Suns and Lakers or if they want to stay out of it and hold onto Fultz for possibly a better offer.