Posts tagged Ron Artest

I Wanted Ron Artest and I am Dumb Sometimes

Since last season, I have always suggested that the Cavs would do well to acquire the services of Ron Artest.  My thoughts on the subject were that he plays some of the toughest defense in the NBA this side of Bruce Bowen, and he has the ability to score and rebound better than probably anyone else on the Cleveland roster that doesn’t have the first name of LeBron.  My problem is that I never updated my opinion after the blockbuster trade that brought in Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, and (wait for it) Ben Wallace.

I am as dumb as they come.  Take a look at the two people involved in catalyzing the ugliest incident in NBA history.

Oh yeah! Ben Wallace and Ron Artest got into a fight. According to some sources when Artest was lying on the scorer’s table right before he got the beer rained down on him he was yelling to Ben Wallace, “You can suck my balls!”

Uhh, yeah, so maybe the Cavs shouldn’t try and mend that Fence Master Chain Link Fence And Their Uses by bringing Ron Artest in to be a teammate of Ben Wallace.

My bad.

And because I have been such a bad boy with updating this site lately because of an impending move to the country, I should probably also comment on Daniel Gibson’s resigning. I love this for a lot of reasons. First, Daniel Gibson has earned the right to earn his contract in the NBA. He has progressed from being a second-round draft pick to one of the better spot-up 3-point shooters in the NBA. He finished 5th in the league in percentage last season.

At the same time, he and his father (who helped handle negotiations with the Cavs) realize that he is like a BJ Armstrong, or Steve Kerr and didn’t try and hold up the Cavs for every last penny, pretending that Daniel was some kind of superstar in training. They got him a really nice 4-year $21 million deal that can reportedly be worth more if Daniel reaches incentives. This is a really fair deal for both sides.

As an NBA fan, I wish I could feel this way about more deals that players sign in the NBA.

Wait Until Next Year Cavs Fans

I know that in Cleveland people hate to hear the words “wait until next year,” but I need to say them right now. That doesn’t mean wait until next year to compete for a championship. It means wait until next year to see any new faces on this Cavaliers roster. In a short period of time we have seen the Suns move Shawn Marion to bring in Shaq, and we have seen the Lakers move expiring contracts* for Pau Gasol. Where were the Cavs when all this stuff was happening? Sitting at home holding their overused junk. And they might as well get used to the feeling because they are going to have to compete for the rest of the year with exactly what they have right now.

They just don’t have the maneuverability this season. Larry Hughes makes a lot of money and is generally undesirable with two years (and over $25 million) left on his deal after this season. Damon Jones is undesirable and has another year making more than $4 million after this season. Donyell Marshall is undesirable and will make almost $6 million next year. Eric Snow makes almost $7 million this season and has one more year at the same value next year. Oh yeah, and he is undesirable. Notice a trend here? Lots of dollars after this season and more undesirability than the inventory at a second-hand underwear store. And to be honest, that store probably smells better. But I digress. The only guy who has expiring money this season is Ira Newble and he makes about $3.5 million and is undesirable as well. None of these guys are going anywhere. Why? Because nobody would want any of them for an extra year after this one, and two extra years in Larry Hughes’ case.

Even with my trade idea for Ron Artest, which included Drew Gooden, Shannon Brown and possibly a draft pick if the Cavs needed to put it over the top probably won’t work. Why? Well, first of all, ask yourself why Sacramento would want Drew Gooden. He is a decent player, but is he truly truly desirable? I mean, he is ok, but they did sign Mikki Moore this off-season. They do have Brad Miller, Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who is on a reasonable contract of $5.8 million per season. Why, exactly, would Sacramento be jumping at the opportunity to have another big man making over $6 million per year on their roster? Does that make them better? Unfortunately for me and all other Cavs fans, the answer is no. On top of that, just the fact that I mentioned Mikki Moore and Drew Gooden in the same sentence should answer any questions as to why someone wouldn’t care about having Drew Gooden.

Remember Jiri Welsch?

Now this doesn’t mean that the Cavs couldn’t do something smaller. I have heard names like Jarett Jack and Luke Ridenour. Those aren’t total impossibilities, but then again the Cavs would be wise to remember the past. I remember a trade a few years back that the Cavs made out of desperation to try to make the playoffs. They traded a first round draft pick to the Boston Celtics for Jiri Welsch. That turned out to be the 2007 draft pick #24 and Jiri Welsch is out of the league for all I can tell. Then again, Danny Ferry did bring in Flip Murray two years ago and he did a nice job of contributing when Larry Hughes was out injured. (Imagine that!) The Cavs need to be careful, though. They don’t want to overpay for someone who isn’t a part of the long-term solution. They don’t want to give up something that would make their current starting five any worse than it already is.By this, I guess I mean they shouldn’t trade three players; Lebron, Z, or Daniel Gibson.

Wow. That is sad. I can only think of three untradeable players on a roster that is 15 players deep.

So, Cavs fans, just start rooting for health. The Cavs will need all the players they had last year to be totally healthy come playoff time. At this point given the lack of tradeable pieces on the roster, I wouldn’t expect reinforcements anytime soon. And quite honestly, when you look at it from a totally unbiased perspective, would you trade for any of the pieces that the Cavs have sitting on their roster?

The honest answer should be no.

*Yes. I just called Kwame Brown an expiring contract.

Cavs Should Deal for Ron Artest

As we quickly approach the NBA trade deadline, the Cavaliers are in prime position to make the playoffs.  They took down the mighty Celtics last night in Cleveland.  This is the second time that the Cavaliers have beaten the Celts, although this is the first time they played them with Kevin Garnett being out injured.  They are currently second place in their division behind Detroit, and fourth in the east behind Orlando.  The Cavaliers have had their own injury problems up to this point and just like last year the rumors are swirling for the Cavs to pick up some help.  And just like last year, most of the rumors are flying about point guards.  At first I was thinking that way too, but the more I think about it, I think the Cavs should go a different direction.

Sure, the Cavs still don’t have a bona fide point guard on their team.  Boobie Gibson plays more of a gunning three point shooter.  Larry Hughes is a slasher who can play a bit of point guard, but he is certainly not your prototypical PG.  On top of that LeBron plays point-forward a good portion of the game.  In that sense, the Cavs’ game isn’t really broken.  They get the ball up the floor and get into whatever “offense” Mike Brown has drawn up and everything is fine.  So, instead of overpaying for one of the available point guards, the Cavs should just look to add the highest quality player with the least amount of risk.  In this case, that player would be Ron Artest.

Ron Artest isn’t without his history.  We all know that he was involved in the worst fight in the history of the NBA, this side of Kermit Washington.  He has had more than his share of off-the-court problems to be sure.  That being said, Artest has kept a pretty low profile the last couple of years.  On top of that, his on-court production hasn’t faltered.  Artest is a defensive-minded player that consistently puts between 18 and 20 points on the board.  He rebounds well, passes well and plays some kind of a hybrid between the small forward and a power forward.  He would fit in perfectly on this Cavaliers team.

He comes to a team with an established culture and an undeniable superstar in LeBron James.  There is no secret about who runs this team.  He comes to a team that stresses defense first.  That won’t be a problem for Artest who is known in Cleveland as one of the guys who used to work extra hard to shut down LeBron when his Pacers teams played Cleveland.  On top of that, Artest would provide a minimum exposure risk to the Cavs as he has stated he will opt out of his contract following this season.  That means that if “renting” Artest for half a season doesn’t work out, the Cavaliers can wave goodbye after this season.  This would be a wonderful contrast to guys like Eric Snow and Damon Jones that are eating up the Cavs’ cap.

So, how do you get the Kings to agree to give up Ron Artest?   Using ESPN’s handy Trade Machine, I found a workable deal.  The Cavaliers would trade Drew Gooden and former first round pick Shannon Brown for Ron Artest.  Artest makes about$7.4 million this season.  Gooden makes just over $6.4 million and Shannon Brown makes just over $1 million on his rookie contract.  This is Shannon Brown’s last year and Gooden will have one more year after this current season.  The Kings stand to gain nothing from Ron Artest opting out of his deal at the end of the season and right now the Kings are a good 6 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.  The Kings get a solid power forward in Drew Gooden and they get a chance to try out a former first rounder that hasn’t found a niche in Cleveland’s slow-paced offense in the East.

If this isn’t enough then maybe the Cavs can throw in a second round draft pick to make the deal work.  Anyway, I like the idea of adding a player like Artest to the mix.  It would help the Cavs a lot to have another solid defender and decent scorer in the rotation and as soon as Varejao gets back, they won’t miss Gooden all that much.

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