George Karl Hesitant about Ron Artest
Although Nuggets vice president Mark Warkentien is believed to be in favor of acquiring Artest, the sources said coach George Karl is hesitant for a number of reasons. He is a fan of Artest’s game, the sources said, but somewhat uneasy about losing forward Eduardo Najera in a deal in light of the uncertain status of Nene. The Nuggets’ power forward is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer and hasn’t played since Jan. 7.
In the meantime, Najera – who has an expiring contract ($4.95 million) and would likely come the Kings’ way if a deal transpired – is filling his role and his departure would leave a void. The more pertinent question might be whether the Nuggets would give up small forward Linas Kleiza, whose contract ($1.01 million this season, team option for 2008-09 at $1.82 million) and upside intrigues the Kings. [Click here for more from the Sacramento Bee.]