Sunday , Feb , 10 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

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.]