Not Quite A Trade: Rockets and Lakers Swap Forwards

July 3, 2009 at 3:10 am Leave a comment

Artest Ariza

The NBA free agency period continued to surprise people around the league, and continued to disappoint the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It was reported yesterday that Lakers’ forward Trevor Ariza was leaning towards leaving L.A. and not even thinking about a hometown discount. And that’s exactly what he did. ESPN has reported that Ariza has agreed to a deal with the Houston Rockets that would pay him $5.8 million per year. With the addition of Ariza, the Houston Rockets look pretty good on paper. Yao (although he may not play), Artest, Ariza, Battier, Brooks, McGrady, etc.

But wait…not so fast.

A majority of reports had surfaced in recent days stating that Ron Artest was content with the Houston Rockets and that he planned on staying in Texas. However, the Lakers thought otherwise. The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to terms, according to ESPN, with former Rockets’ forward Ron Artest. The deal would pay Artest a reported $18 million over just three years…not too shabby.

So now you look at the Rockets roster and it doesn’t look so appealing. Sure Ariza is a nice addition, but you lost a much better and much more proven Ron Artest. Yao Ming is likely to miss all of next season, if not his whole career, and the rest of the starting line-up is consistently on the trading block. McGrady is getting older, always suffering from injuries, and always has his name thrown into trade talks. Aaron Brooks has had his name thrown into offseason trade rumors. Shane Battier is always a hot commodity because of his defense and shooting ability, making him all the more worthy of a slight filler in a trade proposal. All of sudden, with the loss of Artest, the Rockets don’t look so sexy.

As for the Lakers, they look all the better. Ron Artest is a ..::..HuGE..::.. upgrade for the team whether they lose Ariza or not. Artest has lockdown defense and he has the ability to score. What more could you ask for? His attitude seems to have improved and he appears more mature than ever before in his career.

Although I feel the Rockets really lost a good one in Artest, the real loser amongst these two signings is the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs had both Artest and Ariza on their radar and now they’re both un-signable. If there is anything good out of this for the Cavs, at least both Artest and Ariza stay in the West and away from the Cavs’ 2010 run at the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers have missed out on Charlie V, Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza, and most likely Rasheed Wallace, meaning they have slim pickins’ for a free agent this offseason. The Lakers improve and the Rockets begin their slow downward spiral (maybe).

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