JamFan - Over the Christmans holiday, rumors abound regarding the Indiana Pacers trading Ron Artest. Oddly, the Clippers are most often mentioned as the mostly likely trade suitor.
Reports out there include Coach Dunleavy having talks with Indiana to set the stage and Owner Donald Sterling chiming in that he has no problem with the trade. What trade?
So, far it is all talk. The Clippers also reportedly have told Indiana that Maggette is off the table. But that is actually OK with Indiana because they are so high on Danny Granger at small forward, and actually need a center. They don't like Jermain ONeal at center and want him to stay at power forward. Which brings us to Wilcox. Is he the best young center available? If so, this deal might go down if the Clippers include a first round draft choice. And it might go down soon.
If so, the top 7 players in the Clippers rotation will be Brand, Kaman, Maggette, Livingston, Mobley, Cassell, and Artest. Who starts and who gets minutes may depend on match ups and who is playing/shooting well. It also depends on Livingston staying healthy and Maggette getting healthy. The Clippers may start to realize that Maggette is injury prone. He has repeated injured himself the last couple of years. Recently the Clippers lost 5 of 6 with Maggette out. That....will not get it done
However, if healthy, that is a powerful 7 man rotation. But it only works if Artest comes in with his dead screwed on straight. Don't count on it. Oh yeah, it will be OK for awhile. But Artest's problems are not isolated incidences. He has been constantly disruptive to his teams even going back to his college days. There is a long term pattern with Artest.
He has recently said three things that make him a bad risk. 1- He is only going to play for another year or two. 2- He needs the ball (wants to be the first option) 3- He needs a new contract. I don't know about you, but these comments are a deal killer for me.
Cassell is not concerned and says he understands Artest. Coach doesn't seem concerned. Even tighwad owner Sterling is cool. Maybe Artest, after seeing his current teamates, as of today, literally turning their backs on him, not even wanting to even meet with him, make him realize that there is a price to pay for you actions. Even your friends can and will turn their back on you. Maybe Artest will see the light and become a good citizen. NOT! More likely, if the Clippers trade for him they will have play and live with his eccentricities and try to keep them off the court. Wilcox, is in his last year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent after the season and doesn't hide the fact he is not excited about his backup role with the Clippers. The Clips could end up getting nothing for him if they don't match offers next summer.
New poll, Should the Clippers trade for Ron Artest? Go and vote. JamFan