Hornets Season Review: Trevor Ariza

With new General Manager Dell Demps at the helm the Hornets needed to fill a void, which was small-forward. In turn the Horents traded Darren Collison and James Posey for Trevor Ariza. At the time the trade was scrutinized from all angles, but most saw it as a “meh” type of move.

A full season on and we can’t see the positives from  the negatives with Ariza. He’s had a very shakey season, one that was capped off by a nice playoff series.

Overall though most still see Trevor as an expendable commodity on the roster. Trade avenues will always return a player of less talent (unless they’re trying to gut their roster) and getting rid of Ariza seems unlikely. Having said that we need to appreciate that when he did get it right, it was great to watch. When things went wrong, they made for another eye-gouging experience.

The Trade

I think most Hornets fans rue the trade that brought in Ariza and let Collison go. While our sentiments towards Darren are far stronger than to Ariza, it actually was a trade that proved to be better than expected.

First, the Hornets got rid of James Posey, both a lazy player and a burden on the salary cap. This allowed the Hornets to get under the luxury tax and further add to their roster.

Second, if we take a look at Collisons season it and compare it with Ariza’s it isn’t like we are missing out on a whole lot. Remember, we brought Ariza in here to be a defender and not much more. We must take his statistics with a grain of salt, the Hornets must, and I stress this, they must get a shooting, offensive off-guard.

Collison is around about an average NBA player (15.6 PER), an average starting point-guard it appears. Ariza meanwhile is a below average player due to his terrible offensive ability (11.3 PER). Keep in mind that defensive players are often significantly underrated because it doesn’t usually account for their skills and abilities as much as an offensive player.

Far to often Trevor was asked to do things that are not his strong suite like creating his own shot from an isolation, creating for others, or generally just shooting ten or more times in a game. We can see exactly why Demps picked up Ariza, for his defense. His defensive win shares (DWS) was second on the team (behind Chris Paul).

Overall I think the Hornets fitted a need and got rid of a player that would never of contributed much with Paul in the starting line-up. Even if Collison had stayed and we had decided to get rid of Paul, it would have been disastrous in the short and long-term because Collison, in my opinion, doesn’t have the All-Star potential that so many predict.

Ultimately this signals that the Hornets desperately need a two-guard who can create his own offense so that Ariza can get that 17.7 Usage Rate down to somewhere like 15, where Ariza had his best season producing an offensive rating of 112 for the Lakers in 2008.

The Season

The word “underwhelm” comes to mind when trying to describe Trevor’s season. I think a lot of us expected a much better basketball player offensively and not the brick-fest that came with it. I know I’m trying to make excuses as to why an offensive two-guard is needed so desperately, but this does hinge on Trevor quite a bit.

Spot up shooting is something that he really needs to focus on. Playing with Chris Paul, or any creative player, means that you must have a strong capability to hit the three ball. Ariza didn’t seem to fit that role in the way that he needs to be. Sometimes he’d miss so badly that you’d wonder why he’d take those shots. I’d be screaming “NO!” every time he took a three from the top of the arc. From the corners, I was fine with that. But anywhere else and I was in agony.

If we glance into his season we come back to that word “underwhelm” not because he was a horrifically bad player, but because he showed signs of being a capable NBA player on the offensive end. Take a look at these graphs and you’ll see what I mean by inconsistent.

For the duration of the season Trevor seemed to make head-way then take steps back. He’d shoot 38 percent from three then shoot 31 percent. He’d score 13.4 points per game in a month then eventually work his way back to 9 points a game. It was strange and there was no definitive answer. The fluctuations and lack of consistency are something that I despise about particular NBA players. One moment they’re hot, the next they’re cold.

Yet somehow this is lost amongst Trevor, I seem to put these offensive consistencies at the side and praise his defense because that really is a consistent God-send. His offensive inconsistencies are outweighed by his defensive consistencies. Which makes it all the more important to surround him with offensively talented players.

The Future

I don’t know what room for optimism there is with Trevor. I hope that he can develop his offensive game to a point where he’s merely a slasher off the ball and spot-up corner three point shooter, but who really knows what will happen? My best guess is that the Hornets get a two-guard who can shoot the lights out, and another small-forward three point specialist.

The thing about Ariza is that he is a hard worker. He likes to think of himself as a shooter, but he needs to demonstrate that he can consistently light it up. I am hoping that he gets to a point where he shoots 45% from the field and 35% from three, but that could be asking to much.

Season Grade: (Rated in Awesome to the Max’s)

Previous Season Reviews

Tags: Darren Collison Dell Demps James Posey New Orleans Hornets Trevor Ariza

  • dathrone

    Ariza is fine when he does what he’s supposed to do. Play D and shoot open 3′s. Like mentioned in the write-up it’s when he’s asked to do more is where he starts to hurt the team. Was disappoint that Williams didn’t play Thorton more it would have took pressure off of guys like Ariza from scoring.

    As far as the future once free agency returns(if it does this season) I would like to package him and Okafor together to bring in a guy like Iggy maybe a Rudy Gay.

  • lucas

    I think Trevor is an essential player for the Hornets. Mainly because the idea of ​​Monty Williams is to transform us into a defensive team. He may be the only player on our squad that I wouldn’t trade any more. The Lakers should be sorry to have Ariza sent to Houston. Trevor is a good defender and showed that it is a playoff player. Our problem is to get a scorer (SG) and a greater depth (height!) on the painted area.

    • dathrone

      If we can re-sign West then keeping Ariza is a good idea. If we can’t re-sign West and are looking to fill the 4 spot with Landry I want to see Iggy or Gay at the 3. Somebody who can give us Ariza type perimeter defense but also some much needed scoring.

  • Cris

    I agree with the above comment that Ariza hurts us when he tries to do to much by putting up stupid shots. I would love to see Iggy or Rudy on this team but I cant see Philly or Grizzlies trading their franchise players for Okafor. Even though Okafor is a quaility C he is undersized and is on a Salary cap killing contract.Its hard to see any team taking Okafor, Maybe T-wovles if we are willing to take troublesome Michael Beasely off their hands or Detroit who need a centre. Consistant shooting will make a world of difference for us, If we had a 18ppg Starting SG last season we would have won alot of those games we lost by single digit margins.

    • lucas

      Exactly. I agree. The problem isn’t Ariza, despite his offensive limitations. What we need is a SG who can score points (Kevin Martin is my dream!) and more size inside the painted area. I would trade Emeka and try to keep Ariza. The question is: Who wants the Emeka’s contract? And what can we get in return?

      • dathrone

        I don’t think there’s any dynamic 2 guards on the market. If we lose West somebody needs to pick up that scoring slack. Unless Houston is dumb enough to swap K.Mart for Emeka(I doubt they’re looking to take Ariza back and we have no other trade assets), I would want to actively pursue Gay or Iggy. Both players I believe their respective franchises are ready to move their contracts. Both teams (provided Memphis can’t re-sign Gasol) will be in the market for a center. We will be able to offer them a viable replacement for the SF they would trade with Ariza.

        A deal with Memphis I would like to trade


        Memphis showed they could win without Rudy and his large contract. I think they feel that signing Z-Bo is a bigger priority then keeping Gay. Mayo would finally give us a solid 2 with star potential. This trade would fit both teams provided Gasol leaves via free agency(if there is a hoops next year).

        A deal with Philly I would like to trade


        Philly clearly wants Iggy out and needs a big. We IMO need Emeka gone and scoring Iggy can provide. We can pick up some young (cheap) talent at spots we need it, and open up salary to bid for a center in free agency.

        • http://swarmandsting.com Jake Madison

          Who replaces Okafor at center then? The west is loaded with very talented big men. We need someone who can play in the paint with them.

          • dathrone

            Lets say we don’t re-sign West, but we can pull off a deal with Memphis and bring in Gay/Mayo. Also we re-sign Landry

            Our Starting line up would be

            This is already better than last years team.

            I really like DeAndre Jordan and think he would become a star here. Even if he wouldn’t sign there are a ton of vet bigs looking at the list of FA C’s that would want to come play here for a decent price. Especially considering we’re almost certain to be looking at a more restrictive cap.

  • lucas

    The trade with the Grizzlies to please me. But trade with the Sixers don’t seem very good. Losing Ariza to have a player like Rudy Gay is something to consider. However, I don’t think that happens.

  • Cris

    If Memphis are actually looking to trade Rudy Gay it can only be to save some cap room. It makes no sense to me because they are contenders in the West with Rudy Gay on their roster then without him. The trade for Iggy maybe more realistic if Philly are actually that desperate to move him. If Okafor does have value its that he doesnt get injured for extended periods, that maybe enough for teams to been interested in him.

    • lucas

      I’m not a fan of Iguodala. I don’t think it’s worth signing him. I’d rather Trevor stays.

  • dathrone

    As far as a trade with Memphis. I’m sure we can get Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo. We would have to get creative. Get at least one other team involved. Teams like Houston or Denver are in need of bigs don’t have a ton on the pay roll and may welcome Okafor.

    I could see a trade scenario with NO/MEM/DEN

    Hornets gets

    Grizzlies gets

    Nuggets gets

    Hornets become a more enticing team for CP3 to stay on after losing West, Memphis dumps salaries and Denver gets a big to replace Nene. That works.

    or Maybe NO/HOU/MEM.

    Hornets aquire

    Grizzlies aquire
    any combination of Hill/Flynn/Dragic/Williams/Lee

    Rockets aquire

    Once again Hornets aquire key piece’s that should help us contend for a title for the duration of CP3′s prime, Grizzs dumps salary, and Houston gets a starting center for whatever players they feel are expandable.

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