Last summer, the Sacramento Kings signed veteran forward Trevor Ariza to a two-year, $25 million deal with the hope that Ariza would bolster their bench. After just 32 games, it became clear that Ariza wasn’t what the Kings needed, and they traded him, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan to the Portland Trail Blazers for Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver. In hindsight, the trade worked out for both parties.
In the 21 games Bazemore’s played for the Kings, he’s posted a net rating of +2.7, according to NBA.com. He’s also posted the best defensive point differential (-7.6) of anyone that’s logged more than 400 minutes for Sacramento this season, per Cleaning the Glass. Meanwhile, Trevor Ariza has posted the best overall point differential (+14) in the 701 minutes he’s played for the Trail Blazers, which puts him among the 99th percentile of all players. That’s really, really good.
Unfortunately for Portland, Ariza has opted out of making the trip to Orlando, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza is opting out of participating in the NBA’s Orlando restart of the season, committing instead to a one-month visitation window with his young son, sources told ESPN.
Ariza, a starter, has been involved in a custody case over his 12-year-old son, and the mother’s decision to grant a court-ordered, one-month visitation period during the league’s quarantine of teams in Orlando, Florida, led Ariza to choose his parenting responsibilities over competing with the Blazers in the 22-team restart, sources said.
The Trail Blazers are currently seeded at the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference, with 3.5 games separating them and the Memphis Grizzlies. There are also 3.5 games separating the Kings from the Grizzlies, however, as of now, Sacramento hasn’t had anyone opt out of the season. In fact, they’re expected to be more complete than they’ve been all season.
Of note, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kelly Oubre Jr. will also be sidelined for their respective teams. With the luck (or lack thereof) the Kings have had with injuries this season, it would be interesting to see their fortunes change at an opportune time.