Friday , Feb , 22 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Ron Artest Returning to his Native New York?


Ron Artest still is not a Knick and Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph still are. Artest, a Queensbridge product, will likely opt out and become a free agent and the Knicks can offer him the five-year, $30 million mid-level exception as a free agent. But who knows who will be the GM and coach?  Isiah Thomas loves Artest and at one point last summer thought his addition could lead the Knicks to winning the East. The Artest camp prefers the Knicks try to work a sign-and-trade with the Kings this
July.

But if not, the five-year mid-level could work if no other team is offering Artest a long-term contract. ‘If there’s a competitive offer on the table, the hometown team would become very appealing," Artest’s agent Mark Stevens said. The trade values of Curry and Randolph became so diminished in recent weeks it made no sense to deal him now. Click here for more from the New York Post.