The Lakers, Suns and Mavericks have made major upgrades in the last two weeks, but that doesn't mean the trade talk is done. More big moves remain open to negotiation before Thursday's deadline, including the possibility that Sacramento's
This move would create strong opinions on both sides, from those who believe the Nuggets would spontaneously combust as well as from those who think Artest could provide them with a great opportunity in the playoffs. Put me in the latter group: Trading for Artest is something the Nuggets must try to do. He would elevate them to championship contention.
Will it happen? The Kings maintain their weekend giveaway of
Sacramento's ultimate goal is to build salary-cap space for the summer of 2010. With Artest indicating he'll opt out this summer, however, the Kings might want to leverage him for a couple of inexpensive assets moving forward.
That's why they're letting it be known that Artest may be available in exchange for a young talent and a first-round pick. The Nuggets surely wouldn't mind giving up their pick in this year's draft, but will they yield 23-year-old forward
In theory, other potential partners in a trade for Artest would include Houston, Golden State and Orlando. (Magic coach
• Artest will help them in the short term. When Artest was traded to Sacramento in January 2006, the Kings won 14 of their next 19 games to surge into the playoffs. He would have a similar impact on the Nuggets -- though with much higher stakes involved.
• His contract makes sense. Artest is making $7.4 million this year, and if he doesn't opt out, he has only one more year left in excess of $8 million. So the potential damage will be limited should he revert to unreliable form.
• He is needed at both ends. Imagine Artest guarding
• They must win now. Everyone from
Karl is the right kind of coach to embrace a bold gamble like acquiring Artest, and owner
• The Grizzlies are fielding numerous offers for shooting guard
• While other rebuilding teams have been giving away their stars, it appears that the 76ers are maintaining a higher standard with point guard
• With the Hawks having entered the All-Star break on a four-game losing streak, no one in Atlanta was surprised by the trade for Bibby. The Hawks gave up little in the exchange while filling their needs for shooting and leadership at point guard. Bibby can reclaim his good name by bringing order to this young team.