This off-season the New York Knicks will mainly be working with the veteran's minimum to add talent to their roster. However, they'll also have their mid-level exception to work with. The value will be determined when we know if Carmelo Anthony re-signs with the Knicks or not. Regardless, could New York get Trevor Ariza to accept the mid-level exception?
There's little doubt that Trevor Ariza is worth more than the mid-level exception. There's also little doubt that the New York Knicks need to aim high while shopping around with their biggest contract offer option. With players taking discounts to play in large markets there's no reason why the Knicks shouldn't pursue Ariza.
After being selected 43rd overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Knicks, Ariza has played all over the league. He played for the Knicks from 2004-06, he played for the Orlando Magic from 2006-07, the Los Angeles Lakers from 2007-09, the Houston Rockets from 2009-10, the New Orleans Hornets from 2010-12 and the Wizards since 2012.
Ariza is a versatile defender and offensive threat. The former Knick is coming off a strong playoff performance for the Washington Wizards. He may have priced himself out of Knicks market but perhaps he'd take a discount to return to where his NBA career began.
That being said, he really stepped his game up during the post-season. He shot 48% in 11 games during the playoffs while averaging 13.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game for the Wizards.
There's little doubt that he'd fit right back into the triangle offense like he did as a Laker. He spreads the floor with his three-point shooting and can consistently play lockdown defense. While he seems content to re-sign with Washington, the lure of the triangle offense and the Knicks may be enough to get him to accept the mid-level exception and bring his talents back to New York.
Ariza is one of those players without a true position and it doesn't really matter. He can play shooting guard or small forward, and can guard any player not playing point guard or center.
Ariza isn't going to push any starters to the bench but he can start when needed and can be a real weapon off the bench and down the stretch of the game. He's one of those players that can still average a good amount of minutes as part of the second unit.
Ariza is 29 and might not want to stick around in Washington if he doesn't believe they're contenders. While the Knicks aren't contenders yet, Ariza could see the chance to play with Carmelo Anthony and in Phil Jackson's triangle offense as a ticket towards contention.
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