Ron Artest Heading to the LA Lakers

Dumont WalkerSenior Analyst IJuly 3, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers hugs Ron Artest #96 of the Houston Rockets after the Lakers defeated the Rockets 89-70 in Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 17, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Talk about the rich getting richer. That must be the motto of the NBA offseason. Already we have seen Vince Carter go to Orlando, Richard Jefferson to the Spurs, and Shaquille O'Neal was introduced with the Cleveland Cavaliers today.

Not to be outdone, the current NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, are hoping to have made a splash into the free agent pool this afternoon. That is if the source of this information can be trusted.

Earlier today, Ron Artest told CBS affiliates that he was ready to sign with the Lakers for an undisclosed amount.

Artest spent last year with the Houston Rockets, where he was quiet off the court, but made a big splash on the court, helping the Rockets out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

For many reasons, Artest could be called the reason for Houston's success last season. With Tracy McGrady missing the majority of the season due to injury, Artest and Yao Ming teamed up to get the Rockets into the postseason. Even after Yao went out with a foot injury, it was Artest who kept the Rockets alive and pushed the Lakers to the brink.

If Artest does go to the Lakers, one has to think they are preparing for the exit of Trever Arizza. Seeing that most teams like him for his defensive play, his services will not be in such high demand with Artest playing lockdown defense on whoever he guards.

At the same time, Artest also helps toughen up what is still widely regarded a mostly soft Lakers defense.

This has been one busy offseason with big teams making big moves. Who will be next?

The Boston Celtics have made a formal offer to Rasheed Wallace, so don't be surprised if you hear about that trade over the weekend.

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