In 32 games for the Kings this year, the highest amount of points Trevor Ariza had was 18. In 1 game for the Blazers this year, the highest amount of points Trevor Ariza had was 21.
I feel like the same sort of thing happened last year. The Suns signed him to a big deal with the idea that he’d bolster their young core and help them make the playoffs, but instead, he just sucked and ended up traded to the ‘Zards where he statpadded his way into another contract. Replace “Suns” with “Kings” and “‘Zards” with “Trailblazers” and you have the same scenario playing out again, minus the statpadding. I’m sure Ariza is going to statpad in Portland, since they’re so injured that they need scoring wherever they can find it, but it’s possible that he continues sucking like he did in Sacramento no matter the opportunities he gets.
He was good this game, though. He played more minutes than he ever did with the Kings and it paid off. Not in terms of the Blazers getting a win, but at least in terms of him showing that he can still play competent basketball. This performance is made even more impressive by the fact that he already is guaranteed money next year, so he has no reason to play especially hard. Contract-year Ariza this isn’t!