January 2, 2006
The Artest watch
Artest, Part IINo one quite knows where Ron Artest will end up, including the Indiana Pacers. It hasn't expedited the process that Atlanta won a few games and doesn't seem to want to deal Al Harrington. Plus players who were being discussed, like Sacramento's Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Peja Stojakovic, have been hurt. With Marcus Camby out indefinitely after hand surgery, the Nuggets might not have enough to make a major deal. The latest is that Denver could trade Earl Watson to Seattle for shooting guard Ronald Murray.
Golden State, the league's poorest defensive team for weeks, still seems like a team in need of Artest's services with Baron Davis and Jason Richardson firing away without regard on three-pointers. Though he is a favorite of general manager Chris Mullin, Mike Dunleavy Jr. remains under verbal assault from Bay Area fans. He finally exploded last week, gesturing to and condemning fans. Mullin may feel forced to go with a defensive stopper like Artest to salvage the season. Dunleavy could be a good fit for the team-oriented Pacers, though they could be reluctant to take on his big contract. The deal likely would be expanded to include Adonal Foyle and perhaps Jeff Foster or Austin Croshere.
And with the Lakers in the running, wouldn't you like to see Artest with Bryant? That's one teammate Bryant wouldn't intimidate.
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune....ck=1&cset=trueThe most interesting part of comments from Bird, the Pacers' general manager, about Artest was Bird's revelation of a preseason meeting when the players asked to remain together. "They thought this was their year as a team," Bird said. "Stephen [Jackson ], Ronnie and Jermaine [O'Neal] came up to me and asked if I would keep them together for one more year and see how it goes. I was behind it 100 percent." Sounds like everyone will soon be available. O'Neal for Garnett next summer? Chris Bosh?
There I go again. But here was Garnett to the St. Paul Pioneer Press last week when asked about the team trading for Artest: "It doesn't matter what I think half the time. They're going to do it (trade for Artest), or they're not going to do it. I have no choice. I don't make decisions around here. I guess I've just got to live with it till the summer gets here."
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