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Dec. 13 - Ron Artest wants to be traded, and the Indiana Pacers say they'll accommodate his request.
But what can Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh get for their All-Star caliber player now that everyone knows he's on the block? Here are 29 purely speculative trade scenarios, one for each of the other 29 teams, all of which would work under salary cap rules.
We are assuming that each team would try to get Artest, who earns $6,842,105 this season, as cheaply as possible. Rules require that the total salaries of players traded by one team not exceed that of players traded by the other team by more than 25 percent plus $100,000.
ATLANTA HAWKS -- Al Harrington is a perfect match salary-wise, but the Hawks will likely hold onto him until it's closer to the trade deadline, then move him if they feel he'll leave as a free agent. For now, they could offer Tyronn Lue ($3.5 million) and Tony Delk ($2.925 million).
BOSTON CELTICS -- The chances are almost zilch that Danny Ainge would offer Paul Pierce ($13.8 million) for Artest and another player. Instead, the C's could combine Brian Scalabrine ($2.6 million), Dan Dickau ($2.25 million) and Marcus Banks ($1.724 million).
CHARLOTTE BOBCATS -- The second-year franchise is about $3.5 million below its salary cap of $37.1 million, so the Bobcats would not have to match Artest's salary. They could offer Jumaine Jones ($1.875 million) and Kareem Rush ($3 million).
CHICAGO BULLS -- Back in the days of Jerry Krause, they traded Artest and Brad Miller for Jalen Rose. To get Artest back, they could offer Tim Thomas ($13.975 million) and take Austin Croshere ($7.8 million).
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS -- Ron-Ron said he wouldn't mind being LeBron James' backup. Danny Ferry could offer Donyell Marshall ($4.8 million) or Eric Snow ($5.48 million) and a throw-in, but Ferry would more likely try to lump together Luke Jackson ($1.95 million), Sasha Pavlovic ($1.274 million) and Ira Newble ($2.95 million).
DALLAS MAVERICKS -- Plenty of possibilities, the most amenable of which (for Dallas) would be Keith Van Horn ($15.7 million) for Artest and Croshere, or a straight-up offer of Jerry Stackhouse ($8.37 million).
DENVER NUGGETS -- One player agent told Insider on Monday that the Nuggets were listening to offers for Kenyon Martin ($10.89 million). If Denver tried to get Artest at a cheaper price, an offer of Voshon Lenard ($3.5 million) and Nene ($3.04 million) would work.
DETROIT PISTONS -- They wouldn't dare bring in the player most people blame for igniting The Palace brawl last season, would they? Only if they could get him for Darko Milicic ($4.13 million) and Maurice Evans ($1.5 million).
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS -- Artest could be a piece of the puzzle that would lock up a postseason berth for the Warriors, but would Chris Mullin be willing to part with a key reserve, Derek Fisher ($5.4 million), who's shooing nearly 50 percent from 3-point range?
HOUSTON ROCKETS -- If Artest is looking for offensive freedom, he won't find it here behind Tracy McGrady. But Carroll Dawson could still try to get him on the cheap by offering Jon Barry ($1.8 million) and Moochie Norris ($4.2 million).
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS -- Artest could turn the Clippers from an upstart into a powerhouse, but would they part with Corey Maggette ($7 million)? More likely is an offer of Chris Wilcox ($2.8 million) and Zeljko Rebraca ($3 million).
LOS ANGELES LAKERS -- If they could get Artest for Kwame Brown ($7.5 million), they'd do it in a second. If they could get him for Devean George ($5 million) and Stanislav Medvedenko ($3 million), they'd do it in a nanosecond.
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES -- Jerry West reportedly tried to acquire Artest last season in exchange for Bonzi Wells. Indiana would probably trade Artest for Shane Battier ($4.9 million) and a throw-in, but West is not likely to make such an offer. Brian Cardinal ($5.4 million) and a throw-in would be more realistic.
MIAMI HEAT -- Indiana has always liked Antoine Walker ($6.88 million), who hasn't fit in all that well with his new team. If the Heat could acquire Artest, they'd have little need for James Posey ($5.9 million).
MILWAUKEE BUCKS -- An offer of Bobby Simmons ($8 million) might get the job done, but general manager Larry Harris would first make a lowball offer of Joe Smith ($6.35 million) or a package of Dan Gadzuric ($4.75 million) and Jiri Welsch ($2.18 million).
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES -- Could package a strong defender, Trenton Hassell ($4.35 million) with spare parts Mark Madsen ($2 million) and Nikoloz Tskitishvili ($745,000). A better offer would include Wally Szczerbiak ($10.5 million), but Indiana would have to send back another player.
NEW JERSEY NETS -- Rod Thorn is trying to find a power forward, not a small forward, and Artest would have a hard time fitting in with Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter manning the two and three spots. But if the Nets would be willing to move Carter ($13.8 million) to shake up a team in a funk, they could take back Artest and Jeff Foster ($5 million).
NEW ORLEANS HORNETS -- Almost $6.5 million below the salary cap, the Hornets would not have to match salaries. Bostjan Nachbar ($2.5 million), Arvydas Macijauskas ($2.5 million) and Rasual Butler ($1.3 million) are all expendable.
NEW YORK KNICKS -- This is the team Artest would prefer to play for, but the Pacers are loathe to make any deals with former coach and Bird adversary Isiah Thomas, who could offer Jamal Crawford ($6.48 million) or Quentin Richardson ($6.95 million).
ORLANDO MAGIC -- For a franchise going nowhere, an infusion of Artest might get the folks in central Florida interested again. Hedo Turkoglu ($5.4 million) and Stacey Augmon ($1.14 million) would help replace some of what Indiana will be losing.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS -- Willie Green could be sent to Indiana in a sign-and-trade deal if the Pacers want to take a chance on his surgically repaired knee, and the Sixers could combine his salary with that of Kyle Korver ($3.63 million), who would be expendable if Artest came aboard.
PHOENIX SUNS -- Raja Bell ($4.25 million) and Jim Jackson ($2.64 million) would work, and if Bryan Colangelo was willing to throw in Leandro Barbosa ($930,000), he might just be able to get a deal done.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS -- Ruben Patterson ($6.35 million) will likely be traded somewhere sooner rather than later, but general manager John Nash is wary of bringing in any head cases -- a category in which Artest definitely qualifies.
SACRAMENTO KINGS -- The trade that everyone seems to feel makes most sense would be a straight-up swap for Peja Stojakovic ($7.5 million), but the Kings insist there have been no discussions about trading him. They'd rather move Corliss Williamson ($6 million), Brian Skinner ($4.95 million) and/or Kenny Thomas ($6.5 million).
SAN ANTONIO SPURS -- Another team awash in spare parts. Indiana has always liked Argentine center Fabricio Oberto ($2.35 million), who could be combined with Brent Barry ($4.7 million) to make the salaries match. But could coach Gregg Popovich live with Artest's act? Probably not.
SEATTLE SUPERSONICS -- Vladimir Radmanovic ($3.17 million) has the right to veto any trade, and he'd give up his Bird rights if he accepted one. That leaves Danny Fortson ($6.2 million) and Ronald Murray ($895,000) as the best package the Sonics would likely care to offer.
TORONTO RAPTORS -- Morris Peterson ($4.55 million) would be a fit for the Pacers, but GM Rob Babcock would first try to move the dreck (Eric Williams, $3.9 million; Aaron Williams, $3.38 million) he received in the Carter trade.
UTAH JAZZ -- Hard to imagine a worse pairing than Artest and coach Jerry Sloan, and the guess here is that Jazz owner Larry Miller would want no part of Artest -- even if the price was only Greg Ostertag ($4.4 million) or Matt Harpring ($5.02 million) and a throw-in.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS -- Still kicking themselves for letting Larry Hughes get away, they'd gladly cut their losses with Antonio D
Hey! What're you kicking me for? You want me to ask? All right, I'll ask! Ma'am, where do the high school girls hang out in this town?