But Ariza is sidelined with an ankle injury.
Lakers forward Trevor Ariza had an arthroscopic debridement procedure performed on his right ankle today. He is expected to make a full and complete recovery. Team doctors will reevaluate Ariza in approximately 8 weeks, and an update will be provided at that time.
Injuries aren’t completely predictable. But by building a roster heavy on older players – like Ariza, 36 – the Lakers left themselves more susceptible to issues like this.
That said, Los Angeles is playing to compete deep into the playoffs. If Ariza misses some of the early regular season – which opens in less than two weeks – but is fresh for the postseason, this absence won’t be a problem.
In the meantime, no Lakers neatly duplicate Ariza’s defensive-oriented, glue-guy skill set. Los Angeles could start Carmelo Anthony as an offense-first forward, use a smaller wing in that role or even start Dwight Howard or DeAndre Jordan at center with Davis sliding to forward with LeBron.
The Lakers have plenty of depth/optionality. It’s almost as if they anticipated predicaments like this.