Wake-up call: Race is on to land Trevor Ariza

Wake-up call: Race is on to land Trevor Ariza
July 12, 2014, 6:00 am
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(Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

Carmelo Anthony wants his own day, possibly Saturday, to announce his decision -- more than likely he'll remain with the New York Knicks -- which puts into motion the next tier of unrestricted free agents such as Trevor Ariza for the Wizards. 

Ariza, coming off his best season at 29, shot 40.7% from three-point range and helped the Wizards advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nine years. 

He'll have his share of suitors, most if not all of whom will offer more than the Wizards, for his services. So what's the toughest competition? 

Houston Rockets: As detailed here, Chandler Parsons is the linchpin. Parsons is a restricted free agent who signed a three-year, $46 million offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday to match to keep him. If they don't, that opens a hole for Ariza who earned $7.7 million last season. The Wizards fully expect them to make a play and they could price them out. Plus, they have Dwight Howard and James Harden to counter John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Dallas Mavericks: For obvious reasons, if they whiff on Parsons it would make sense for Ariza to be the next in line. The problem they'll have is convincing Ariza of the big picture. This will be Ariza's last big contract and he wants to win. In fact he's miserable when he's not winning. Dallas was the West's No. 8 seed and pushed the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs to seven games. But Ray Felton would be his point guard and how much Dirk Nowitzki has left in the tank?

Miami Heat: Chris Bosh is staying which makes up a little for the loss of LeBron James. The Heat have money to offer, but do they have the pieces and a long-term plan?  There's the issue of Mario Chalmers, who is a disappointment of a point guard, but even if the unrestricted free agent stays it's Norris Cole's job to lose. Ariza needs a quality point guard to flourish offensively because he doesn't create much of his offense off the dribble.