CHICAGO (CBSLA) - The Lakers will get a little extra help on Sunday evening, when veteran forward Trevor Ariza is set to make his season debut, following recovery from ankle surgery that kept him sidelined since training camp prior to the season.
The Lakers (16-14) are set to visit the Chicago Bulls (17-10), in the final leg of their road trip before returning to Staples Center on Tuesday.
Ariza, now 36-years-old, is in his second stint with the Lakers, as he was a member of the team from 2007 to 2009, helping the purple and gold win one NBA Title in 2009.
Since then, Ariza has been a journeyman of sorts, spending time with seven different franchises over the last
A Los Angeles native, Ariza played his high school basketball at Westchester High School before heading to UCLA for his college career. Ariza was a second round pick in 2004, when the New York Knicks selected him 43rd overall.
The Lakers signed Ariza prior to the start of the 2021 season on a one-year deal worth $2,641,691.
The return of Ariza comes at a perfect time, as the Lakers find their squad decimated due to a COVID-19 outbreak, that has sent multiple players into COVID-19 protocols, including LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. They currently have seven players restricted from play due to the virus - Kendrick Nunn, Kent Bazemore, Malik Monk, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard, Austin Reaves and Talen Horton-Tucker. Not all of the players have tested positive, but are restricted for reasons of close-contact with a person who had tested positive instead.
Los Angeles will be without head coach Frank Vogel tonight, who was placed into COVID-19 protocols on Sunday morning. Instead, Lakers assistant coach David Fizdale will take over the helm for the matchup against the Bulls.
Throughout his career, Ariza has put up 11,497 points with 5,274 rebounds and 2,352 assists in seventeen seasons.
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