Ron Artest Traded to the Houston Rockets

Ryan WardCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2008

Looks like the Sacramento Kings' controversial forward Ron Artest is on his way to play alongside Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady in Houston.

The Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings agreed to a deal that would send small forward Ron Artest to Houston in exchange for former Sacramento guard Bobby Jackson and the draft rights to Donte Green.

From the looks of things, it seems like the Maloof brothers wanted this guy out of town as quickly as possible. Besides a somewhat promising prospect in Donte Green, the Kings really didn't improve at all. The Houston Rockets may have gotten the final piece to the puzzle in order to become a legitimate title contender and a major player in the Western Conference once again.

Ron Artest's name has been thrown around in NBA trade rumors for years now with speculation of the defensive specialist going to the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and almost every team in the league, but not once did any of us hear that Houston was a even a possibility.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, who looked to be Artest's next destination and perfect fit with friend Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum assuming they shipped out Lamar Odom, they missed out on a perfect opportunity to upgrade and get the defensive minded player they are in need of after exposing their defensive weakness in last season's NBA Final against the Boston Celtics.

With Artest in the lineup, the Rockets will have a very talented team on both sides of the floor. The addition of Artest will make an already good defense into a great defense with Shane Battier (if they can fit him in the starting five), Yao Ming, Rafer Alston, and Tracy McGrady. The Rockets will be a force to be reckoned with and give the Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money for the distinction of best in the west.