NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers refused to include Josh Hart in trade for Trevor Ariza
What's the rumor?
The Los Angeles Lakers were interested in obtaining 33-year-old Trevor Ariza after he became available for trade on December 15th. Nevertheless, the Lakers couldn't agree to a deal with the Phoenix Suns, and Kevin O'Connor from The Ringer is reporting that this was due to the Lakers' refusal to include Josh Hart in a potential deal:
'Early in the week, NBA front-office executives expected the Lakers to land the veteran forward because of his desire to return to Los Angeles. The Suns were willing to dance with the Lakers, but only on their terms.
'After the first Ariza trade fell apart, the Lakers hopped back in by offering Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a future second-round pick. The Suns demanded a young player instead of the pick. That player is believed to be Josh Hart. The Lakers obviously refused; Hart is 10 years younger and has been better than Ariza this season.'
In case you didn't know...
Trevor Ariza is regarded as one of the best two-way players in the NBA, and he helped the Houston Rockets to the Conference Finals last season. He signed a one-year contract with the Suns in the summer, although the struggling franchise has now traded him to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers.
The heart of the matter
Josh Hart has impressed for the Lakers so far this season, and the franchise evidently didn't believe that Trevor Ariza's impact would justify giving up their young player.
The 23-year-old will now stay with the team until the summer, although his long-term future is in doubt, due to the Lakers' interest in Anthony Davis.
Following their disappointing 128-110 loss to the Washington Wizards, the Lakers will look to get back to winning ways against the Nets tomorrow night.