Trevor Ariza, Alexis Ajinca, Marcin Gortat

Report: Trevor Ariza could be close to re-signing with Wizards after he saw how much they gave Marcin Gortat


Trevor Ariza knows how this works.

1. Play really well before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

2. Work the market

3. Profit.

With a career year for the Wizards this season, Ariza completed Step 1 – just as he did in 2009, when he drew a five-year, nearly $34 million contract.

Here are Ariza’s win shares each season of his career. The red spikes represent the seasons before he became an unrestricted free agent.


Ariza is in Los Angeles working on Step 2, but the $60 million contract Washington just gave Marcin Gortat – who earned the same $7,727,280 salary as Ariza last season – has Ariza ready to pounce.

J. Michael of CSN Washington:

Soon after Marcin Gortat re-signed for five years and $60 million with the Wizards, Trevor Ariza — in a somewhat surprising move — was on the phone with the front office to work out details on what could turn into a deal late Tuesday, several people with knowledge of the situation told CSN Washington.

Ariza was expected to take a few days, after hearing pitches from other teams, before getting on the phone with president Ernie Grunfeld to discuss a possible deal. However, a person with knowledge of the situation said he may have been “inspired” to just get a deal done such as Gortat who didn’t hesitate in re-signing.

If Ernie Grunfeld is handing out $60 million contracts, Ariza wants to know where he can sign. There’s no need to leverage for more if extracting a high salary from Washington is this easy.

The Wizards bought Gortat’s loyalty. If they want to do the same for Ariza, I’m sure he’d also pledge his allegiance to the Wiz.

Lucky? Klay Thompson reminds Doc Rivers which team lost to Rockets

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There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.

The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.

Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via

– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”

Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.

If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.

They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.

All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.

Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.

Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.

“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.

“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”

This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.

It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.