Around the League: July 30
This article is also published at Hoops4Life.com, a basketball fan's site. I decided to share it with you all because, well, you seem to like this kind of stuff.
More real news from around the league, at a time where Brett Favre is dominating the headlines for everything. So for those of you that love basketball and could care less who Favre may or may not have texted on a phone that may or may not have been issued by the Packers, here is your NBA fix:
Ron Artest Traded to the Rockets
It has been assumed that Artest would be on the move since the start of the offseason. He was listed as one of the 10 players most likely to be in a new uniform on NBA.com.
Artest, however, moved in a way that wasn't expected. Instead of opting out of his contract with the Kings, he decided to stay. Then the Kings said that they didn't care if he didn't want to opt out—they were getting rid of him anyway.
The Kings got a nice package for Artest, which includes guard Bobby Jackson as well as a 2009 first-round pick and a player to be named later. The Rockets add a strong defender and another star player to play with Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming.
76ers Sign Kareem Rush
Rush has been a bench player for most of his five career seasons in the NBA, and has averaged just under seven points a game.
He has a clean shot and can hit plenty from beyond the arc. He will add depth and shooting to a 76ers team trying to become one of the top teams in the shallow Eastern Conference.
Chicago Bulls Close in on a Deal with Luol Deng
According to ESPN.com, front-office sources are saying that Deng has verbally agreed to a six-year, $71 million deal to keep the young forward with the Bulls.
Deng has said that he wouldn't negotiate with the Bulls past this Friday, when he leaves for Britain to play for their national team in the Olympics. The move helps keep the Bulls in contention next season.
The Bulls have been quiet on any trades that may happen, which is surprising considering that they were widely expected to make some sort of big move. But now that Deng is tied up, they may be able to put more energy towards getting a trade done.
Deng was a big name in the Kobe Bryant trade talks at the beginning of last season. The Lakers wanted him and Bryant wanted to play with him—but now he will likely be staying with the Bulls.
Bobcats Re-Sign Emeka Okafor
The Bobcats have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $72 million contract with forward Emeka Okafor.
Okafor has been a big name thrown around as a player who might follow Elton Brands example and renege on a promise he made to sign with his club. But now the deal seems to be complete.
Okafor was the top pick for the Bobcats in their inaugural year just five seasons ago, and he has played well, despite a tendency to get into foul trouble.
The Bobcats also went after DeSagana Diop early in free agency, which made people skeptical about their intention to retain the forward out of UConn.
I'm Joe W.
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