Ariza's stellar play and his expiring contract combine to make him a valuable trade commodity if the Wizards are willing to ship him out. However, his veteran presence and defensive skills have played an integral role in the team's transformation from bottom-dweller to playoff contender, so the Wizards may be better served keeping Ariza instead of dealing him.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons associated with the possibility of the Wizards trading Ariza:
Why the Wizards should trade Ariza
With John Wall and Bradley Beal in the fold, the Wizards have a gifted young guard duo that should wreak havoc for the next several years. Trading Ariza could help the team acquire a talented young big man to complement its exciting backcourt.
Recently, the Wizards have been linked to trade rumors involving them acquiring two emerging frontcourt players. Both Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons and Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls have been mentioned as Wizards' targets as the trade deadline draws near.
If sacrificing Ariza can lead to the Wizards acquiring players such as Monroe and Gibson, then the team should strongly consider making the move.
Why the Wizards shouldn't trade Ariza
The rebirth of Ariza has played an important role in the Wizards' bid to make the postseason for the first time since 2007-08.
Although his offensive contributions have been solid, Ariza's greatest strength undoubtedly lies on the defensive end of the basketball court.
In a recent win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Ariza's tenacious defense played a pivotal role in a rare off-night for superstar forward Kevin Durant. During the Wizards' recent defeat of the Golden State Warriors, Ariza made life difficult for Stephen Curry by forcing the sharp-shooting guard into a difficult three-point shot that fell short at the end of the contest.
Ariza is a veteran player who knows what it takes to win playoff battles as a result of his experience winning an NBA championship during his days with the Los Angeles Lakers. He's a valuable part of an up-and-coming Wizards squad that will need his presence come playoff time.
Although his expiring contract makes him a valuable trade asset, Ariza's an even bigger asset to the Wizards in their efforts to qualify for the postseason.
As for this year, the Wizards are better suited keeping Ariza and allowing him to continue to provide his defensive prowess and veteran leadership to a team that appears ready to make some noise in the playoffs.
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