Just got done with Trevor Ariza’s exit interview, where there wasn’t much point in beating around the bush. Like Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown, Ariza is one of three key free agents for the Lakers this offseason so it was best to get straight to the point.
“You coming back,” I asked, before he could even sit down.
“I’d love to, I hope so,” Ariza said. “I feel like I’m at home here. Because I am at home. So I’d definitely love to come back. ”
When asked what the most important thing to him, when looking at other teams, would be, Ariza said:
“Definitely stability would mean the most,” he said. “I mean money is important, this is our job here. But I’ve really bonded with my coaches and teammates. We have a really good team and think that we could be really good for a long time.”
Ariza said his meeting with Mitch Kupchak and Phil Jackson seemed to go pretty well.
“They definitely told me that I improved a lot and they were happy with the way I played and was able to help our team,” Ariza said. “They looked really happy and pleased with my improvement.
Asked if they expressed to him whether they wanted him to come back, he joked:
“Yeah, I felt loved in there.”
As for the free agent process, Ariza said he hoped he could get done with it quickly and painlessly.
“Hopefully it won’t be that long, but it should be a fun time for me and my family. I’m going to enjoy it a little bit, and hopefully it doesn’t get too out of hand.”