Reason for the Los Angeles Lakers signing Trevor Ariza: He is still a valuable three and D player
This could change this season if Ariza comes out and is terrible for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ariza did not play in the NBA bubble and at his age there is always the concern of regression. However, he would not be asked to do that much in LA, so I doubt he would regress enough to not be a fit.
Ariza is a textbook example of a three and D role player. He is not the defender that he once was but he is still an above-average defender that gives the Lakers a good second defensive wing. Right now, Kyle Kuzma is tracking to be the team’s primary bench wing, which could be bad.
According to Basketball-Index, Ariza posted a 1.02 Defensive Player Impact Plus-Minus (PIPM) last season. For comparison’s sake, Kuzma posted a -0.97 D-PIPM last season while Danny Green posted a 1.13 D-PIPM.
So it is clear that he is still a solid defender, or at least he was the last time that we saw him.
Ariza can still shoot the rock as well. The Lakers do not need a huge sharpshooter off the bench, they just need someone who can hit their shots in key moments, like Morris did last season.
Ariza shot 37.2% from beyond the arc last season and shot 40% on four attempts per game in the 21 games he started with the Portland Trail Blazers. The guy can shoot.