On Wednesday morning, our own Jason Walker weighed in on the potential of evaluating free agent forward Trevor Ariza as a potential fit for the Atlanta Hawks, and later in the evening, reported interest on the part of the Hawks emerged. Chris Broussard of ESPN brings the report:
Houston weighing whether to match Parsons or go for Ariza at lower price. Wash, ATL, LAL, LAC, CHI also interested in Ariza— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 10, 2014
The 29-year-old forward had a breakout season in his contract year with the Washington Wizards, averaging more than 14 points and 6 rebounds per game to go with 40.7% shooting from 3-point distance and above-average defense. However, the thorn in potentially pursuing Ariza has been thought to be his high asking price, and that number could climb out of Atlanta's price range in a hurry.
Michael Lee of the Washington Post had this to say about Ariza's potential salary demands:
According to an NBA front office executive, Ariza is seeking a salary comparable to the four-year, $48 million deal that Andre Iguodala received. CBS Sports is reporting that he wants a deal starting between $9 million and $11 million.
The truth about what Ariza is seeking from a financial standpoint is unclear, but the report from Broussard is the first rumbling of the Hawks becoming involved, and there could be a great deal of smoke here. Still, Trevor Ariza rivals Luol Deng as the best available forward on the market after Chandler Parsons agreed to an offer sheet with the Mavericks, and the Hawks have some due diligence to tend to with his representatives.