Anderson and Ariza: From Houston to Phoenix

by Cody Cunningham

While the Suns September trade with the Rockets may have came as a surprise, it filled a need for the team while also pairing back together two friends.

The Suns sent Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight to Houston for rookie De’Anthony Melton and sharpshooter Ryan Anderson. Melton will compete with the three other point guards on roster for the starting job while Anderson secures his spot as the Suns new power forward.

“I couldn’t be happier to be with this organization,” Anderson said. “This is an organization that I have wanted to play for for a lot of years.”

Anderson has spent the past two seasons on Houston where he was teammates with Trevor Ariza. The two will take the court together for a third straight year, but this time in purple and orange.

“To be here with Trevor is an amazing opportunity for me,” Anderson said. “He’s one of my closest friends I’ve ever been on the same team with.” 

After signing with the Suns back in July, Ariza didn’t expect to be teaming up with Anderson again so soon. So when the trade was first announced, he doubted the legitimacy of the report.

“One of my friends who is always on the ticker, always all over NBA activity, sent me an Instagram posts about Ryan coming,” Ariza said. “When he sent it, I said, ‘Man get out of here.’ Then I saw that is was true that he’s actually on his way here.”

Ariza was not only excited about having his friend join him in the Valley, but also for the impact Anderson can have on the team. 

“I was extremely excited,” Ariza said. “More excited for Ryan because he gets an opportunity to show that he is an unbelievable player, unbelievable shooter, unbelievable scorer. He can definitely help teams win.”

The two forwards are proven veterans in this league and want to carry over their winning mentality to the Suns young roster. 

“We are definitely looking forward to helping this organization win,” Ariza said. “We want to win. We want to change the narrative of the Phoenix Suns that has been of late.”

Anderson believes that with the pieces the Suns have, him and Ariza can help guide this organization in the right direction. 

“[Ariza’s] a great leader and he’ll be a great veteran for this group along with myself,” Anderson said. “We’re really excited to both be here together and build a culture within this young group.”

From Anderson’s shooting ability to Ariza’s defense, the duo gives the Suns what they need on the court as well as the leadership the young core needs in the locker room.