I posted this on the Raptors' Forum - good assessment or am I wrong?
Now some of you may disagree by this name from the start, it's true: he shunned us. He went to a team that will offer him more money after agreeing in principle with us, John Salmons. Now why did I say this may be an opportunity, rather than something that might actually be available? because I have no clue what the kings are thinking. It's evident that Mike Bibby's contract is hard to get rid of, and I am not exactly sure of what their plans on Artest are, if they would look to re-sign him or keep trying to trade him. Which poses a question, why are they trying to trade both or either of them?
They want to find minutes for John Salmons, but if the trade value of Bibby remains low and the asking price of Ron Artest stays high, the kings may be forced to trade Salmons, who is under contract for another 3 years after this year. Some may argue that Artest if off the books after this year (player option) and the kings can just hold on to Salmons until next year and then play him extended minutes next year; but this is where the main hiccup comes in, a threesome of Bibby, Kevin Mart and Salmons, just does not work. Add to the fact they also got Udrih and Francisco Garcia off the bench to go with Salmons at the moment - and Artest is playing heavy at the 4.
While Kevin Martin and John Salmons can co-exist, it's just not the same with the three of them; the lineup is too small and too thin and will get exposed defensively. The Kings' hands might be forced into trading Salmons before the deadline and therefore I say, let's go get 'em. Yes, I know he went back on his word, and I know that may not sit well with a few of you, but this is about making our club better. Salmons is a very good fit for us, and not just for now, but for the remainder of his contract. He is a player who loves to play from top of the key and in and most importantly, a guy who can create on his own. He can take the pressure off Bosh, and when needed, is a very good spot-up shooter and is an adequate defender.
What will be needed to get a deal done with the Kings? I would assume that in the off-season the Kings would look for a SF and possibly depth in the front-court and they would need some dough for that, so perhaps expiring contracts. They may want to re-sign Artest, but the word around the league is that he has worn out his welcome so the Kings might look at Corey Maggette in the off-season. We can obviously offer Dixon to begin with and I will not be opposed to adding in a first round pick along with Joey Graham in that trade. Why the first round pick? Let's be honest, if the Raptors get a first round pick around 18-20, they're not getting a guy good as John Salmons, and if they do, that guy will take a few years to develop. While we are building for the future, John Salmons is a good cheap solution for now and a bit of the near future as well...