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View Full Version : ESPN: Artest saga may shape Francis' future



Doug in CO
01-13-2006, 10:58 PM
Well I'll be - someone who is NOT a GM like yours truly seems to agree with me... bold added by me - because it is what I have been saying for 2 weeks.

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http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=kreidler_mark&id=2291521

Artest saga may shape Francis' future

By Mark Kreidler
Special to ESPN.com

It's been another great week on the Ron Artest trade front, so long as you aren't counting the part about the Pacers actually, you know … making a trade.

But, goodness, there were some great rumors. The Warriors came and went and then crept back in. The Clippers got hot until Corey Maggette's bum foot cooled them off. Houston sneaked into the conversation. It was good stuff.

Of course, that's Artest still sitting over there, doing absolutely nothing. And those are the Indiana Pacers, still winning at a slightly higher rate than they lose, but with no serious prospects of making a run at the elite of the Eastern Conference.

And this is the emerging truth: Forget equal value for Artest. The Pacers, in the end, are going to be lucky to make a deal that gives them any future to look forward to -- and in the present, they have no part of an NBA Finals conversation.

Can we all now agree that it was a giant botch, this whole thing? Indiana's response to Artest's request to be traded, which hardly stacks up at the most outrageous thing ever said or done by the man, has maneuvered the Pacers into a windowless room. It's dark and creepy in there.

If Orlando's front office is paying the slightest attention to the Artest fiasco (and place no bets), then it will do the right thing with Stevie Francis. Francis committed an arguably greater sin than Artest talking about being moved to another team: He refused to re-enter a game the Magic were losing badly on the road. But after the guard serves a suspension, Orlando's bosses surely see that the clearest path to a future lies in reactivating Francis, getting him back on the court and telling him, "Play your hinders off so that we can make a great deal and get you somewhere you want to be."

Oh, if only Indiana had come to the same conclusion about Artest. Instead, the Pacers, from Larry Bird on through, took the publicly noble step of refusing to allow Artest back on campus, as it were. He's banned for life. The Pacers had had enough.

It must have felt wonderful, and no doubt a little righteous. It was a response widely applauded by many people, even by great sports fans who tired of Artest's act and had seen one chapter too many of his Me, Myself and I book in progress.

And it's killing the Pacers. Just killing them.

Indiana will ultimately deal Artest, but that's only because the Pacers have left themselves no real choice. Artest even opened the door some weeks back for them to let him in, at least long enough to re-establish his market value, and they refused. It surely felt like the upright thing to do, but in the cold world of business in the NBA, the result was this: Every team in the league now knew that Bird and Co. had to move Artest -- and no one in his right mind was going to offer equal value, or anything close to it.

Thus, the current steaming pile of possibilities. The Clippers were willing to part with damaged goods in Maggette, whose left foot is so suspect that the Pacers wouldn't bite. The Warriors would give other players, but not Ike Diogu, the one the Pacers wanted. Houston won't give up Yao Ming or Tracy McGrady, so the Rockets reportedly are trying to come up with some combination of players (in concert with other teams) that Indiana might want.

Meanwhile, the Pacers chug on. They hit the weekend at 19-14 overall and just 8-10 on the road. They're a decent, but hardly uninspiring, 9-7 within the Eastern Conference.

It could never be as simple as this, of course, but consider: When they punched Artest's ticket and sent him away, the Pacers also sent off the floor the NBA's leader in steals and their own second-leading scorer (at 19.4 points per game). That's how you go from potential conference finalist to playoff entry with a chance to advance a round.

Indiana has no choice at this point but to wait patiently as the Feb. 23 trade deadline approaches, and hope that a great deal for Artest somehow puts itself together. Other teams in the East are certainly happy enough that they can play the Pacers without facing Artest. Nobody on that side of the league is in any hurry to do a deal.

In a parallel universe, the Pacers' brass might have bit its collective tongue one last time in December, ignored Artest's latest look-at-me moment, and quietly pursued every possible trade for the troubled talent. Dunno what the end result might have been, but it couldn't have been more problematic than what the franchise is facing right now. You watching, Orlando? This, for future reference, is a tough lesson in how something that feels so right can go so wrong.

Mark Kreidler is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee and a regular contributor to ESPN.com. Reach him at mkreidler@sacbee.com.

hoopsforlife
01-13-2006, 11:03 PM
I totally agree with this.

Unclebuck
01-13-2006, 11:08 PM
The premise of the article I don't agree with.

Whether Artest was playing now or not would not have any impact on the trades offers the Pacers would be getting. Because everyone knows the Pacers are trading Artest anyway whether he is active or not.

What are all the other teams dumb.

Shade
01-13-2006, 11:08 PM
Yes, let's put a man who said he hopes he never plays another game for us again back in uniform and on the floor. That'll go over GREAT in a locker room already suffering major chemistry issues. :rolleyes:

Unclebuck
01-13-2006, 11:09 PM
Yes, let's put a man who said he hopes he never plays another game for us again back in uniform and on the floor. That'll go over GREAT in a locker room already suffering major chemistry issues. :rolleyes:



That is another point, but even if we did that every team knows we are trading Artest anyway

Outlaw
01-13-2006, 11:10 PM
What else would anyone expect from a BSPN writer....

Doug in CO
01-13-2006, 11:12 PM
That is another point, but even if we did that every team knows we are trading Artest anyway

Everyone would know we wanted to trade him... they wouldn't know we HAD to trade him.

Shade
01-13-2006, 11:13 PM
It must be nice to be a professional columnist. You can write any kind of one-sided drivel you please without any fear of argument or rebuttal.

Doug in CO
01-13-2006, 11:16 PM
It must be nice to be a professional columnist. You can write any kind of one-sided drivel you please without any fear of argument or rebuttal.

A columnist's job is to present a position and back it up with opinions - whether PD agrees with them or not.

Harmonica
01-13-2006, 11:34 PM
Yes, let's put a man who said he hopes he never plays another game for us again back in uniform and on the floor. That'll go over GREAT in a locker room already suffering major chemistry issues. :rolleyes:

Ding-ding-ding-ding!

t1hs0n
01-13-2006, 11:59 PM
It would have been/would be a very, very, very bad idea to put ron-ron back on the floor with this team.

Even at 9-9 without ron the Pacers are still in the hunt for the 4th seed in the east... just like they would be if ron was playing.

This team had several issues at the start of the season... not all of witch had to do with ron.

Doug in CO
01-14-2006, 12:03 AM
This is a leverage argument more than anything

SoupIsGood
01-14-2006, 12:07 AM
I don't think this guy has watched us play at all. Ron is not the element that we're missing. We weren't exactly playing well with him. I'm inclined to think that this team didn't fit together very well from the beginning. We need some sort of decison as to what will happen at the PG position, and we need a true perimeter scorer. Ron was good, but didn't bring that.

Doug in CO
01-14-2006, 12:10 AM
I don't think this guy has watched us play at all. Ron is not the element that we're missing. We weren't exactly playing well with him. I'm inclined to think that this team didn't fit together very well from the beginning. We need some sort of decison as to what will happen at the PG position, and we need a true perimeter scorer. Ron was good, but didn't bring that.

Ron was probably our best 3 point shooter

But the article is not about being better - it is about having leverage - or NOT having it

BlueNGold
01-14-2006, 12:18 AM
Can we all now agree that it was a giant botch, this whole thing? Indiana's response to Artest's request to be traded, which hardly stacks up at the most outrageous thing ever said or done by the man, has maneuvered the Pacers into a windowless room. It's dark and creepy in there.

It was already dark and creepy because the windows were boarded up on 11/19. The truth is, we would never get equal value for Ron. Ron is a Lebron James level talent who everyone knows is a ticking time bomb. What if we let him play and he goes off again. Obviously, the odds are high that would happen ONCE AGAIN and his value will continue to go down just like it has the last 2 years. What if he does something to be banned from the league....then we get NOTHING?


It must have felt wonderful, and no doubt a little righteous. It was a response widely applauded by many people, even by great sports fans who tired of Artest's act and had seen one chapter too many of his Me, Myself and I book in progress.

And it's killing the Pacers. Just killing them.

This is a short term view and history will record this as the time when the Pacers Org. finally made the right move with Artest. Sure, losing an all star is a setback, but it had to happen sometime and the sooner the better. You need to forget about the days when Ron was a Pacer. He is fools gold!


weeks back for them to let him in, at least long enough to re-establish his market value, and they refused.

Again, you are assuming he can re-establish his market value. The only thing his value has done over the last two years is go down. There is no reason to believe it would go up.


It surely felt like the upright thing to do, but in the cold world of business in the NBA, the result was this: Every team in the league now knew that Bird and Co. had to move Artest -- and no one in his right mind was going to offer equal value, or anything close to it.
....
19.4 points per game). That's how you go from potential conference finalist to playoff entry with a chance to advance a round.
...
In a parallel universe, the Pacers' brass might have bit its collective tongue one last time in December, ignored Artest's latest look-at-me moment, and quietly pursued every possible trade for the troubled talent. Dunno what the end result might have been, but it couldn't have been more problematic than what the franchise is facing right now. You watching, Orlando? This, for future reference, is a tough lesson in how something that feels so right can go so wrong.

Although Ron has depressed his value, particularly on 11/19, his value has not become further depressed because the Pacers are cornered into trading Ron. The truth is, competition between potential suitors in the market will determine his price...not any perceived negotiating advantage they think they have over the Pacers. That would be true if there were only one buyer, but there are many. Teams are competing for his services and his discounted value is difficult to determine....and no one wants to come out on the short end of the stick. That is why there have been very few if any trades...everyone is waiting for this first domino to go. Hopefully the Maggette non-trade is a step toward setting Ron's market value and finalizing the trade.

SoupIsGood
01-14-2006, 12:21 AM
Ron was probably our best 3 point shooter

But the article is not about being better - it is about having leverage - or NOT having it

:shudder:


There's no way Ron was our best 3pt shooter.

BlueNGold
01-14-2006, 12:29 AM
:shudder:
There's no way Ron was our best 3pt shooter.
Yes, Ron was probably NOT our best 3pt shooter. Right now that title goes to Saras....and if FJ keeps it up...

larry
01-14-2006, 02:02 AM
as is we have no chance of seeing round 2 in the playoffs, its sad really. our expectations were so high.

hoopsforlife
01-14-2006, 08:17 AM
as is we have no chance of seeing round 2 in the playoffs, its sad really. our expectations were so high.

This team, as it is, may not see round one. :(

SycamoreKen
01-14-2006, 01:27 PM
It would have been/would be a very, very, very bad idea to put ron-ron back on the floor with this team.

Even at 9-9 without ron the Pacers are still in the hunt for the 4th seed in the east... just like they would be if ron was playing.

This team had several issues at the start of the season... not all of witch had to do with ron.

While we would have still been playing for the 4th seed, the team would still be better with a guy as talented as Ron playing. Could he have come back after what he said, I doubt it. But to say having him as an option wouldn't help is not true.