Trevor Ariza
Nov 29, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Houston Rockets small forward Trevor Ariza (1) drives the ball down the lane against New York Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) defending during the 2nd qtr of the game at Madison Square Garden. The Rockets won 116-111. Reuters/Gregory J. Fisher

The rumour mill is gaining steam in the league with the trade deadline nearing, and according to the latest speculations, Trevor Ariza could be heading out of Houston.

The Houston Rockets are open to move their expiring contracts to get valuable players who could help them push hard for a playoff run. In recent trade talks, the Rockets are speculated to move the likes of Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas and Ty Lawson, with the team struggling to keep up in a stacked Western Conference. However, according to Marc Stein of ESPN, Ariza may also be on the Rockets’ trading block.

While this seems to be pure speculations from the part of Stein, Gerald Bourguet of Hoops Habit argued that it makes sense for the Rockets to move Ariza before the deadline. Ariza brings defence and three-point shooting for the Rockets, albeit at a rate of 33.8 percent. His scoring also dipped from 12.8 point per game last year to 11.2 per contest.

Bourguet listed down possible trade scenarios for Ariza, but the one that stands out as the best fit for the one-time NBA champ is a move to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In Bourguet’s potential trade deal, the Cavs would get Ariza, while the Rockets get Timofey Mozgov and Mo Williams.

Marc J Spears of Yahoo Sports reported last week that multiple teams are interested to trade for the towering Russian ever since he was moved out of the starting lineup in favour of Tristan Thompson.

“While the Cavaliers have expressed no interest in moving Mozgov, the 7-foot-1 center’s loss of his starting job, the franchise’s NBA-high payroll and his looming free agency could ultimately persuade Cleveland to make a deal,” Spears disclosed.

Mozgov would make sense for the Rockets as the team are badly needing interior defence and output, which All-star Dwight Howard has not been providing. Moreover, bringing in veteran PG Mo Williams would address the Rockets’ point guard issues and would bring a scoring punch at the position.

Meanwhile, Ariza would fit well with the Cavs. He would be an upgrade over Richard Jefferson and a perfect addition to the Cavs’ already elite defence. Bourguet’s NBA trade scenario virtually works with ESPN’s Trade Machine, but both teams would probably ask for more pieces if such deal materialises.