The Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and Washington Wizards have executed a three-team trade that will see some significant pieces move around the league.
The move will see the Rockets will receive Trevor Ariza from the Wizards and Alonzo Gee and a 2015 first round draft pick from the Pelicans, the Wizards receive Melvin Ely from the Pelicans and an $8.5 million trade exception and the Pelicans will receive Omer Asik, Omri Casspi and $1.5 million cash from the Rockets.
The most notable figure in this trade is Trevor Ariza, who spent last season turning himself into one of the more attractive free agents available at the small forward position this summer.
Ariza had an excellent year shooting the basketball last season, averaging over 45% from the field and 40% from the 3-point line while bagging himself 14.4 points per game. Ariza also continued to show his prowess on the defensive end of the floor, earning himself a reputation as one of the best ‘3 and D’ players in the league.
After the Rockets saw their starting small forward Chandler Parsons sign for in-state rivals the Dallas Mavericks, they had to move quickly to find an adequate replacement given that the small forward market was quickly drying up following LeBron James' big announcement.
While the Wizards expressed their desire to keep a hold of Ariza, they too found themselves a replacement in the form of former NBA champion Paul Pierce, a great move by an organization that is guiding their team firmly in the right direction. They may also be able to use the trade exception generated by this move to bring in a key player later on down the road when cap space is tight.
The New Orleans Pelicans will also be happy with this trade as they’ve managed to snag themselves one of the top defensive centers and rebounders in the NBA, Omer Asik. Asik became surplus to the Rockets requirements last summer when they brought on Dwight Howard and they’ve been attempting to trade him ever since. Asik seems to have found himself a great home alongside future All-Star Anthony Davis. Together Davis and Asik should form an excellent big man combo and if Asik can show improvement to the offensive side of his game, the Pelicans could be a force to be reckoned with this season.