The Los Angeles Lakers have had an explosive offseason so far.
Not only were they able to land Russell Westbrook to create a new Big 3, but they also added an impressive group of veterans. Their new additions include Trevor Ariza, who agreed to a one-year deal with the organization.
Ariza shared earlier this week that Westbrook called him almost immediately after the Lakers and Washington Wizards agreed on the trade.
“It’s funny because Russ got traded, and 20 minutes after he was traded he was on my phone,” Ariza said. “So I don’t know if he was telling me he was happy to be home, or he wanted to go to dinner or whatever. I just know that he called my phone like, ‘Yo, what are you doing? Where are you at? I need to talk to you, I need to see you.’”
While Ariza didn’t outright say Westbrook recruited him, he did offer a strong indication.
“We kept in constant communication, and then it just so happened that I’m here,” Ariza said later.
The 36-year-old forward did not go into further details about what the two talked about and if the two players indeed met. He probably understood that such an admission could be a breach of the league’s tampering rules.
The two University of California, Los Angeles products will look to help the Purple and Gold win its 18th championship.
Westbrook figures to play a large amount of minutes per game as the squad’s presumed starting point guard. On the other hand, Ariza might come off the bench and try to provide the team quality minutes.