Effectively traded from the Trail Blazers to the Rockets to the Pistons to the Thunder this offseason, Ariza isn’t reporting to Oklahoma City.
Veteran forward Trevor Ariza has not reported to Thunder training camp. Ariza will be away from the team indefinitely.
“Ariza remains focused on the same family matters that kept him from attending the bubble with the Blazers,” a Thunder spokesman told The Oklahoman on Sunday. “The Thunder was made aware he would not be available when they acquired him, and remain supportive of Ariza’s indefinite absence given the circumstance.”
The Thunder are tanking. They traded for Ariza mainly to get picks for taking him (more favorable of the Mavericks’ and Heat’s 2023 second-rounders plus Dallas’ 2026 second-rounder).
Oklahoma City might like to get Ariza on the court and producing then flip his $12.8 million expiring contract for even more picks before the trade deadline. Though past his prime, Ariza still provides value as a versatile 3-and-D forward.
But at least the Thunder avoid Ariza joining a bad team and sulking.