Tuesday , Apr , 21 , 2009 Oly Sandor

More minutes, more money: Can the Los Angeles Lakers re-sign Trevor Ariza?

More minutes, more money. This is the unofficial philosophy of the NBA Players’ Union. The more scratch players get on-court, the more scratch that lines their pockets every two weeks come pay day. The examples are countless. Consider Los Angeles’ Trevor Ariza. The swingman, and soon to be free agent, has earned himself additional zeros this summer because of airtight defence and physical play …


More minutes, more money: Can the Los Angeles Lakers re-sign Trevor Ariza?More minutes, more money.

 This is the unofficial philosophy of the NBA Players’ Union. The more scratch players get on-court, the more scratch that lines their pockets every two weeks come pay day.

The examples are countless. Consider Los Angeles’ Trevor Ariza. The swingman, and soon to be free agent, has earned himself additional zeros this summer because of airtight defence and physical play.

The slowing economy won’t matter. Ariza, in his first season as a significant contributor, is due to cash in. The cap-strapped Lakers might not be able to afford him. Then, again, they can’t afford to lose him, either.

Championship teams have swagger. Last year, Boston had Kevin Garnett’s intensity. And San Antonio was half squeaky-clean professionals and half villains with Bruce Bowen. A more prominent Ariza provides the toughness that was missing in last year’s NBA Finals against the Celtics.

 

(Ariza mixes it up with Portland’s Brandon Roy after fouling Rudy Fernandez.) 

Speaking of Bowen, Ariza is a younger version of the Spurs’ lockdown defender –minus most of the elbows, knees, and cheap shots. The Arizona grad can match up with the opposition’s top perimeter player, which lightens the defensive load for an already stretched Kobe Bryant.

At 6-8 and 210 pounds, Ariza has great size for both the two and three spots. And he fits in the frontcourt with either Lamar Odom or Andrew Bynum starting. Also, Ariza can play off-guard, which gives coach Phil Jackson the option to supersize his line-up with Bryant sliding to the one-spot.  

Re-signing such an asset could be tough. The Lakers have 75 million dollars on the books next year, which doesn’t include a salary for free agents Ariza and Lamar Odom. Also, this figure doesn’t account for any potential raise given to Bryant, who holds an opt-out clause.

L.A. has benefited from Ariza’s increase in minutes. And he will likely get the benefit of more money elsewhere.

Will the Lakers be able to re-sign Ariza this summer? Get at us in the comment box and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of geohuntsville.