Trevor Ariza Brings Championship Pedigree to Phoenix

by Cody Cunningham

“Consistency.” “Veteran.” “Leader.”

It is very clear from the start that Trevor Ariza brings so much to the table every time he steps on the court, and it is for that reason that he is the perfect addition to this current Suns roster. 

Phoenix has one of the youngest rosters in the entire NBA and Ariza, 33, not only helps even out the team’s average age, but also brings quality-logged minutes with him. Since being drafted 43rd overall in 2004, Ariza has been to the playoffs nine times and won an NBA championship in 2009.

“Not only being a veteran voice,” former NBA GM David Griffin said. “He’s going to play 30 minutes a game and he’s going to lead by example. That’s a true meaningful thing for a young team. They got a great fit for that roster.”

The 6’8” wing has often been overlooked throughout his career, but his contributions to his teams’ successes can not be ignored. Through his defense and spot-up shooting, Ariza provides so much while demanding so little on the court.

“Every year we include Trevor Ariza on SI's Top 100 NBA Players list,” SI.com’s Ben Golliver said. “And every year we get pushback from people who seem to undervalue what he brings to the table: consistency, team-first play on both sides of the ball, shooting and basketball intelligence.” 

Golliver went on to talk about how Ariza was a critical piece for the Rockets team that won 65 games last season. 

“He made life easier for James Harden on the defensive end while helping to keep the floor spaced on offense,” Golliver said. “He won't stop the ball, he won't commit silly turnovers and he won't try to do too much off the dribble.”

This signing provides the Suns with defense, hustle, three-point shooting and an on-court veteran that won’t demand the ball or stunt the development of the young core.

“He's a natural complementary player for the Devin Booker/Deandre Ayton offensive tandem,” Golliver said. “He should work well with Josh Jackson, as the Suns look to take advantage of their shared versatility on defense.”

Mikal Bridges drew many Ariza comparisons coming out of Villanova and now looks to have the perfect rookie-veteran apprenticeship at the NBA level. With that fit, coupled with the pairing of Tyson Chandler and Deandre Ayton, the Suns have found the ideal teachers for their rookies.

“I’m really, really excited about this offseason for the Phoenix Suns,” Griffin said.

Now it’s just time to put all the pieces together, incorporate Head Coach Igor Kokoškov’s gameplan, and take the court. 

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