Wednesday , Jul , 30 , 2008 Oly Sandor

What Artest trade means for Houston, Sacramento, & the NBA

On paper, the Ron-Ron, T-Mac, and Yao threesome can compete with the league’s best trios. Yes, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce have competition. Ditto for Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.

In reality, Artest, when calm, brings blue-collar muscle to the finesse duo of McGrady and Yao. This is a positive. Skill should always be complemented by toughness and vice-versa. Look for the Rockets to play some mean half-court ‘D’ next year …

What Artest trade means for Houston, Sacramento, & the NBAOutlaw Ron Artest will ride Lone Star style next season. And he’ll join two established superstars, Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, to give the Rockets a top posse.

So we’re clear: Houston just pulled off a controversial trade, acquiring the NBA’s most controversial player from Sacramento for Bobby Jackson, Donte Green, and a future first round draft pick.

This move has league-wide ramifications because unique assets like Artest rarely change teams. Lets measure the impact of this deal on the Rockets, Kings, and everybody else.

What this means for Houston:

1) In theory, the Ron-Ron, T-Mac, and Yao threesome can compete with the league’s best trios. Yes, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce have competition. Ditto for Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.

In reality, Artest, when calm, brings blue-collar muscle to the finesse duo of McGrady and Yao. This is a positive. Skill should always be complemented by toughness and vice-versa. Look for the Rockets to play some mean half-court ‘D’ next year.

2) Artest only has a season remaining on his current deal. This gives the Rockets a one-year window to compete for an NBA Title before the lockdown defender can walk as an unrestricted free agent. Most importantly, the short-term contract limits the consequences for Houston if Artest gets, well, distracted.

So stakes are high in 08-09. Another first round playoff loss and Houston’s front office will drive Artest to the airport next July and probably drop McGrady and Yao there, too.

What this means for Sacramento:

1) The Kings are now younger and drama free. Artest, for all his talents, was a magnet for trouble. Case in point his opt-out clause. By deciding not to exercise this provision in late June, Artest complicated his future and wrecked his relationship with Sacramento’s owners.

2 Now the organization can focus on improving. No more distractions. Their priority is developing talented youngsters like Kevin Martin, John Salmons, and Beno Udrih.

What this means for the rest of the NBA:

1) A major talent in Artest has joined an established contender. But chemistry is an issue. Other teams will watch how Artest, McGrady, and Yao click.

2) Reports had Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami interested in Artest. These franchises will now focus on acquiring their plan b, so more trades could be coming.

Did Houston or Sacramento win the Artest trade? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of BTM74.