NBA season-ending moves: Lakers waive Trevor Ariza; Nets part ways with James Johnson ahead of playoffs

The Los Angeles Lakers waived veteran forward Trevor Ariza on Thursday, with three days remaining in the regular season. They were eliminated from the playoffs on Tuesday and, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, they plan to use the open roster spot to convert a young player’s contract. Forward Wenyen Gabriel and fullback Mason Jones have both signed two-way contracts with Los Angeles.

The Lakers signed Ariza, 36, to provide some stability to a roster that was sorely lacking in 3-and-D players. He had to undergo surgery to repair an ankle injury in October, but did not make his season debut until December 19, entered health and safety protocols days later and finally started. to win DNP-CDs. In 24 games this season, Ariza averaged a career-low 4.0 points, plus 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.3 minutes. He shot 20 for 74 (27%) from 3 points.

In other late-season trade news, the Brooklyn Nets waived big man James Johnson. The resulting spot will allow them to convert rookie Kessler Edwards’ two-way contract and, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, that is exactly what they will do. When that happens, it will make Edwards eligible to play in the playoffs.

Johnson, 35, has been in Brooklyn’s rotation for most of the season. In fact, he’s fourth on the team in games played (62) and fifth in total minutes (1,191). He averaged 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 19.2 minutes.

Likewise, the Phoenix Suns are waiving big man Frank Kaminsky, by sydney. This move frees them up to – you guessed it – convert a two-way contract. In related news, Ish Wainwright is both ways, and here’s what he did in the fourth quarter last night:

Elsewhere, the Atlanta Hawks converted guard Skylar Mays’ double to a standard contract just in time for the play-in, and the Milwaukee Bucks opened up a roster spot by waiving winger DeAndre’ Bembry. Bembry tore his right ACL and MCL in March and underwent season-ending surgery.

And the Indiana Pacers were busy. The same day coach Rick Carlisle said he wouldn’t be moving to the front office, the front office converted the two-way contracts of guard Duane Washington Jr. and forward Terry Taylor, then signed the guards Nate Hinton and Gabe York in two ways. The Pacers also waived goaltender Keifer Sykes.

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