Archive for July 2nd, 2009

Ron Artest signs with Lakers

Ron Artest to sign with Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Ron Artest, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Artest, a 6’7” 260-pound forward out of St. John’s University, has averaged 16.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.06 steals in 604 career games (562 starts) during his 10 NBA seasons with Chicago, Indiana, Sacramento and Houston.   Originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft, Artest is one of only three players in NBA history to post career averages of 16+ points, 5+ rebounds, 3+ assists and 2+ steals (Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler).

The 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Artest has been named NBA All-Defensive First Team twice (2004, 2006) and Second Team twice (2003, 2009).  A member of the 2004 Eastern Conference All-Star team, Artest also earned All-NBA Third Team honors in 2004 and has finished among the top three league leaders in steals five of the last eight seasons while leading his team in steals in nine of his 10 NBA seasons overall.

In 2008-09, Artest averaged 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.52 steals in 69 games (55 starts) with Houston while setting single-season career-highs in  3-point field goals made and attempted (.399, 153-383 3FG) and leading the Rockets in steals (105).

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INITIAL RON ARTEST LAKERS SIGNING UPDATE

By Jeff Lenchiner, editor of InsideHoops.com

Houston Rockets free agent forward Ron Artest is going to sign with the 2008-09 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

The negotiation period for NBA free agents began July 1. Actual signings can take place starting July 8.

According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, the deal may be for three years and around $18 million.

As the Lakers add Artest it appears they will be losing energy hustle guy Trevor Ariza, who is reportedly going to sign with the Houston Rockets.

The addition of Artest to the current NBA champions is interesting. He helps in some ways, but doesn’t in others. He won’t replace the hectic, frantic, fill-in-the-blanks, complimentary, fast break style of Ariza, but is a better halfcourt defender. Artest is also much stronger than Ariza and can easily play power forward for long stretches.

Overall, Ron is definitely better than Trevor.

I question how well Artest will fit into the triangle offense of the Lakers, however. He can do it, but it’s not the most natural fit.

Ariza last season  averaged just 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game, shooting 46% but just 31.9% from three-point range. Though, in the playoffs he suddenly became an assassin from outside, nailing 47.6% of his threes.

Artest last season for the Rockets put up 17.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game, though he shot an awful 40.1%. He was nice from three-point range, though, hitting 39.9%.

Overall, adding Artest while losing Ariza is an upgrade for the Lakers, though I’ll still keep my eye on how well Artest fits in with their offense.

And, key Lakers forward Lamar Odom is currently a free agent. The team needs to keep Odom, and a source says the team feels they’ll be able to re-sign him.

Read basketball fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

Shaq sells Miami house

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sarah Talalay) reports: Former Heat center Shaquille O’Neal finally unloaded his Star Island home on Wednesday, a day before he was traded from Phoenix to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Philip Freedman, a broker with Flagstone Realty, said the deal to sell the 2.5 acre property at 26 Star Island Drive closed Wednesday. The home sold for $16 million, far below the $18.8 million O’Neal paid for the mansion in 2004 and the $32 million he was seeking for the home in 2005. He was reportedly asking $22.5 million, but couldn’t get nearly that much in this economic climate.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Shaq sold his home for a bit less than I recent spent on one of my new summer houses.

Allen Iverson likes Grizzlies

Allen Iverson likes Grizzlies

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Several NBA sources have confirmed to me that controversial and wildly popular guard Allen Iverson - through representatives - has made the Grizzlies aware that he would like to play in Memphis. The veteran, prolific scorer is a free agent for the first time in his professional career. While no deal is imminent and conversations have been only cursory, Griz brass are said to be internally weighing the pros and cons of possibly adding Iverson to the team’s youth movement. Iverson would certainly have to take a major pay cut from the $21 million he earned last season with Detroit. The Griz would only entertain Iverson with what they’d deem a reasonable price, and if the 34-year-old agreed to play off the bench.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Adding Iverson would spark some team interest, ticket sales and maybe a few wins for the Grizzlies, but not really accomplish much more than that. It would probably wouldn’t help the development of the young players Memphis is actually building around. Adding Iverson would be a small temporary boost.

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