With rumors that Ron Artest wants to be traded (although Artest denies it), and with Lakers General Manager, Mitch Kupchak, saying that he may have to explore possible trades, let’s examine a few possible trade scenarios that would allow Ron Ron to escape the pressures of the Zenmaster, Kobe, and the Lakers.
1) Wizards get: Ron Artest and
Lakers get: Kirk Hinrich and Al Thornton
Analysis: The Wizards sorely lack any defensive prowess and Artest, even in his advanced age, can help their young nucleus as long as his head stays in it (a big if I know). The Lakers get an upgrade at point guard and would rely on a combination of Thornton, Kobe, Lamar Odom, and Luke Walton to hold down the 3 spot until Matt Barnes is healthy.
2) Raptors get: Artest, Blake, Devin Ebanks, Shannon Brown, and Derrick Caracter.
Lakers get: Amir Johnson, Sonny Weems, and Jose Calderon
Analysis: The Raptors get a nice young player in Ebanks as well some much needed defense in Artest. The additions of Brown, Caracter, and Ebanks would add to their stockpile of young assets (especially on the wing). They also replace Calderon’s contract with pieces that are more workable. The Lakers get one of the league’s most underrated shooters and an excellent passer in Calderon. His defense is awful, but in all honesty slowing down an opponent’s point guard has not exactly been a Lakers forte. Amir Johnson and Weems would add some sorely needed athleticism to the Lakers rotation.
3) Clippers get: Artest, Blake, Luke Walton, and
Lakers get: Baron Davis and Ryan Gomes
Analysis: The Clippers finally get a legitimate small forward and can hope to make a push for the playoffs. They also get the chance to develop Caracter to backup DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin for years to come. They would probably use Blake and Eric Bledsoe as stopgaps until they trade Chris Kaman (who they no longer need) for a quality point guard to replace the lost Davis. The Lakers get Davis. A Davis motivated by Phil Jackson, Kobe, and championship aspirations. The Lakers would probably have to throw in some cash and/or draft picks as well.
4) Kings get: Artest, Andrew Bynum, Blake, and Ratliff
Lakers get: Beno Udrih, Samuel Dalembert, Carl Landry, and Omri Casspi
This trade is a no brainer for the Kings as they get to develop DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, and Bynum together. A potential powerhouse, don’t you agree? Artest was very productive in his time with the Kings, and a return might be the rejuvenation he needs. The Lakers get Dalembert and Landry to replace Bynum’s production (they really only need Bynum to defend, rebound and block shots), a good young player in Casspi, and much more flexibility after this year if the team doesn’t work out.
All of the trades include Blake because if the Lakers were to trade Artest they would hopefully try to cover up their deficiencies at the point, and we all know D-Fish isn’t going anywhere (nor should he). The Lakers also have a trade exception from the Sasha Vujacic deal that they could use to acquire another player.
Any and all comments will be appreciated.