Smack / Jul 3, 2009 / 4:05 am

Rockets, Lakers (kinda) pull off a trade; Rubio not going to Wolves

Artest vs. Kobe

Artest vs. Kobe

Look at it this way: If the Rockets offered Ron Artest to the Lakers for Trevor Ariza straight-up and the money was even, wouldn’t L.A. jump on that in half-a-second? Of course. That’s basically what happened yesterday, when Artest agreed to a three-year, $18M deal with L.A., and an allegedly pissed-off Ariza turned right around and reached a deal with the Rockets. (Ariza was already believed to be upset that the Lakers hadn’t made him more of a priority in the beginning stages of free agency, so he might have left anyway.) The younger Ariza will get an estimated $33 million over five years … We can’t say right now if Ariza fits what Houston is doing, because nobody knows exactly what Houston is doing until they figure out Yao Ming‘s situation … As for Artest, he obviously makes the Lakers a juggernaut defensively — still weak at PG unless they re-sign Shannon Brown, but then you could conceivably stick Kobe on any opposing PG that’s killing you and let Artest take the wing player Kobe would normally have been guarding — but you have to wonder if his shot-jacking tendencies will disrupt the offense. (We’re talking about the triangle, not the “Iso for Kobe and stand around” offense that L.A. runs more and more often as the playoffs go on.) … You know how the media coverage of Artest on the Lakers will be. Somebody needs to make an over/under for the number of times during the season Kobe is asked, “Do you guys ever get into fights at practice?” Or how many times the word “coexist” and “volatile personalities” are used. And the first time Ron goes barreling into the stands at Staples and nearly tramples Jack Nicholson, it’ll make national headlines … In the meantime, it looks like the Rockets are losing out on their top offseason target, Marcin Gortat. The Polish McIlvaine is signing an offer sheet with the Mavs, a five-year deal for around $30M. If you’re Orlando, do you match that deal to keep Gortat? … Well, that Ricky Rubio thing was interesting while it lasted. Although the Wolves haven’t confirmed, reports across the water say Rubio has decided to stay in Spain for two years (the remainder of his contract) before coming to the NBA. Minnesota still owns Rubio’s draft rights for however long he stays in Europe, and this actually works out well for them. Now they have time to see what they have in Jonny Flynn; if he gets on the court and kills it in his first two years, they can go ahead and trade Rubio for a good reason. If Flynn turns out more like Sebastian Telfair, Rubio might be more willing to play there since he knows he’d be the starter without much competition. Our guess? Flynn becomes a star at best, solid starter at worst, and Rubio’s first NBA game is in a Knicks uniform in 2010, the same day the Knicks also debut LeBron or D-Wade or Bosh or Amar’e or Dirk or whoever they hand the world over to that summer … Allen Iverson has been virtually ignored early in this free agent process — likely a combination of teams assuming he’ll demand a lot of money, figuring he won’t work in their system, and that he’ll stunt the growth of their young building blocks. The Heat and Bobcats have been mentioned as possible destinations, there’s a contingent hoping he returns to Philly, but check out where A.I. apparently wants to go … Look for the Raptors to be the next team making a significant splash. They’re the front-runners (at least money-wise) to get Hedo Turkoglu, and now they’re going after David Lee hard since the Grizzlies filled their PF need by trading for Zach Randolph. Not sure if Toronto can afford both of those guys and still give Bosh what he wants next summer, but maybe that’s the idea: Toronto knows Bosh is outta there, and Lee isn’t a bad replacement at the four … While the Rockets are waiting a week to see if Yao should get surgery, the Jazz are waiting for Matt Harpring to decide if he wants to keep playing. “Sometimes, I have thoughts of playing,” Harpring told the Deseret News. “And then I have thoughts of not playing.” You know Tim Thomas is reading that and nodding his head in total agreement … We’re out like Rubio …

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  • joshlee9

    also, the lakers pulled off a major coup.


    Damn Trevor……..Just like that, replaced right away!

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Now that the Rockets have Ariza everything and I mean everything should be operation go get a center. What kills me is this “The Rockets are waiting to see what happens with Yao” mess.

    WHAT YOU WAITING ON? Dude is hurt, will be hurt and if he heals he will get hurt again.

    Forget him for now and go get a center regardless who can start or play the backup roll.

    Now granted finding a decent center is like trying to get Shawn Kemp to wear protection lol. Still that should be the only thing on Houston’s mind.

    Again and I know it’s my conspiracy theory but I think the Lakers had getting Ron this year all along. Trevor Ariza was the sacrificial lamb. Remember years back they had been wanting Ron. So why not freeze out and disrespect Ariza knowing he will walk and knowing Ron will jump to be on LA’s squad.

    Real sly but smart by LA but kinda cruel too lol.

    Is Gortat suppose to put Dallas over the hump…??? Bwaahahahahaha!

    Denver, Portland, Dallas, Philly and these other squads better get busy!

  • joshlee9

    also, the polish hammer gets PAIIIIDDD

  • alf (from melmak)

    Who can beat the Lakers now? They are now poised to challenge the 72-10 record of the Bulls in 1996.

    Meanwhile, Gortat got overpaid! Typical of Mark Cuban though.

    Never worry about AI. In the end, there would always be Larry Brown to rescue him. They have friendship and utmost respect for each other.

    Lastly, my meal allowance says thanks to Harpring for all the great memories. He anchored the team after Malone and Stockton left. Remember the 41-41 season when everyone thought the Jazz would finish last? If only Boozer had his heart and will to compete.

  • http://manilatonight.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    “Our guess? Flynn becomes a star at best, solid starter at worst, and Rubio’s first NBA game is in a Knicks uniform in 2010, the same day the Knicks also debut LeBron or D-Wade or Bosh or Amar’e or Dirk or whoever they hand the world over to that summer” – wow dime, that’s one helluvah pipe dream right there LOL

    yo poppi gee, with all due respect, your rockets kinda pecked the wrong FA… swingmen comes dime a dozen, they should’ve courted the polish hammer more, not the gortat would negate yao’s loss, but he’d at least be decent offensively and solid on the D… they need the birdman!!!

    and i think ron’s gonna play the good soldier role now… heck, he signed cheap to get a shot at the ring, why the fuck would he do anything to fuck this chance… he’s more cerebral than most gives him credit… at least, nowadays…

    and look at this…

    rodman = artest
    pippen = odom
    kukoc = gasol
    kerr = fisher
    ??? = kobe

    and there’s more (and laugh as pleased)

    longley = bynum (lol)
    buechler = walton (lol)
    randy brown = shannon (lol)
    simpkins = mbenga (lol)

    forgive me, its all crap

    we’re out like rubio… for two years… damn!

  • http://manilatonight.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    btw, harpring is the white artest… but he’s body betrayed him with injuries and all… respect to the tough guy…

    and… phil jax can’t retire on a crew that’s been built this good… but 72-10? naaaaaahhhh… not in the modern NBA…

  • ponky_alolor

    with Ron in the fold, what’s the standing offer for L.O.?

    gotta give it to Kupchak, he’s really taking it to another level with gasol and artest. I remember Laker fans crucifying him with the Kwame and Smush starter line-up hahaha. Mamba’s on a whole new high.

    This off-season’s going bananas with player movement. Shaq, Ron-ron, RJ, Vince, Ariza, maybe Turk, Zach, Rubio staying in Spain, Gortat…

  • ToAn

    well if Odom comes back then it will be really tough to beat LA in the playoffs…i mean they will demand so much attention on offense (Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Bynum ans Artest) that the other team will wear out in a 7-game series. and on defense you have 2 great perimeter defenders, with Pau, Gasol and Bynum in the paint. constant energy all the time. and nobody is really old there either.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    solomon (el latino machismo) I would say Ariza was the better bet than Gortat cause he is more proven so to speak. Perhaps not by much but still Ariza will more than likely fill in fine for Ron’s spot and not get jack-a-three happy like Ron.

    Granted I thought Gortat would have been a decent fill in too but the longer I thought about it I think I would rather someone else.

    Hey I don’t think Houston could have done much more to get dude than offer him money and even create an e-mail which fans could e-mail dude at to get him to Houston.

    All that couldn’t compete with Cuban’s Wallet though. Still can’t figure out why Gortat would take being a back-up over being a starter depending on Yao, …which means more than likely Gortat would have started a nice amount.

    I guess Gortat is the Mavs center for the future.

    There is still these bigs to go after:
    ZaZa (nope)
    Anderson Varejao (please no)
    Ryan Hollins (Perhaps)
    Mikki Moore (perhaps)
    Birdman (Yea but he ain’t leaving Denver)
    Adonal Foyle (naw)

    Or either they do something in a trade with McGrady which I hope not.

    Usually the Rockets find a way, some cat will overachieve at the 5 for them this year.

    Right now I am cool with them picking up Ariza.

    Artest ain’t Rodman now, those two, aside from being crazy and good D, don’t really have the same game at all. Their defense was even different really.

    I would most def. say Odom ain’t Pippen.

    Still I get what ya trying to mesh there lol.

  • http://myspace.com/neirbomij JOB33

    If Harpring retires, the Jazz should make him the team mascot. Homeboy looks like he just walked out from preachin Sunday services and onto the court. All he needs is 4 or 5 wives

    I would’ve never guessed Artest would be caught dead near Kobe on the same team. After that ol’ crazy eyes look he gave him in the playoffs after he showed him his tongue (Artest looked like he would UFC KB’s ass if he so much as smirked). I figured he’d be more likely to run into the stands after Kobe then to follow him into team locker room.

    And @ GEE
    Amen on the George Karl quote yesterday. Someone please pay Karl to get a lips tat on his neck to fit in, then maybe I can root for them (at least in their conference)

    this is all a rehash from yesterday, but who goes back to read days old smack

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    JOB33 lol @ Karl getting a lips tat…I could see dude so doing that to try and fit in lol.

    Yea I really had Ron going to Cleveland just to sort of show Kobe up. Seems like (according to my conspiracy theory) Kobe got to Ron a long time ago before LeBron ever had a chance. Gonna be real interesting though with 2 Alpha males. I just wanna see if Artest is going to play his roll and be cool with all that coaching/teaching Kobe does?

    Can’t you just see Kobe asking for the ball and Ron holding it and jacking a three and Kobe being frustrated to know end lol.

    Aight I gotta get some sleep lol, holla at yall in some hours! Deuces!

  • http://myspace.com/neirbomij JOB33

    Lol @ Gee
    I think you just explained the beginning of the first ever ejection for a flagrant by a teammate

  • w@itingfor2010

    There is no comparison to the Bulls (or any other team). Getting tired of it.

    Artest has changed the mentality and character of every team he has signed with. Let’s leave it at that.

    Wait until the first couple of games before you crown the 2010 champions.

  • A$$Cube aka Rockets nailed it!

    I really like this move for the Rockets.

    The wouldn’t have been able to resign RonRon at the price tag the Lakers got him for –because the only way he took such a pay cut was to play for a contender/the Champs.

    So why would Houston S&T Ron-Ron? It woulda send a bad message like “Well, RonRon does not want to play for us anymore but we’ll use him as a trade bait not to come up empty handed”.

    The Rockets did it right! They let RonRon go to Lalaland, and turn they attention to a cheaper, younger, up & coming star like Ariza.

    A team-player with decent upside, who could fit in with Battier and learn from him.

    Ariza is versatile and accurate enough to play the 2, which means T-Mac is no longer needed –at all. Without him, Yao and RonRon, Ariza may eventualy become the alpha dog on a good-enough team, filled with strong role players (Battier, Scola, Landry…) or play second fiddle to Aaron Brooks.

    That’s why this is a stronger move than investing 30+ millions on the still-unproven Gortat.

    Speaking of which, Cuban wanted to get Turiaf last year, who ended up in the Bay so the Mavs turn themselves to Diop –then traded him away to Charlotte. Gortat is better than Diop and can at least bring the same things that Turiaf could have. Cubs finally got the type of bruiser he was looking for to play alongside Dirk. And, it still did cost him less than what he spent on Dampier a few years ago ^^

  • Arno

    Now that the Wolves have postponed rebuilding, the 2 next seasons are gonna be lonnnnnng…

  • Elvis

    Dallas now has the most physical set of centers in the league. Polish Hammer and Ebony Hammer(Dampier). Nobody is gonna want to drive the lane and get their shot swatted and take a pounding. Great move for Dallas.

  • K Dizzle


    We just nullified Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter

  • the_don_mega

    the coming season just got more interestin’… if ron plays the good citizen role for the lakeshow… i gotta admit they gonna be one scary team… havin’ ron-ron defend the other team’s go to guy so kobe can have all his strength on offense is out of this world… bron must be bitin’ his nails in envy as kobe looks to have blocked his way yet again to that elusive chocolate chip cookie…

  • Sweet English

    Worst case scenario….

    Ron gets caught up in the whole L.A thing and tries the rap thing again.

  • dk

    Dont forget children! The bigger picture is still out there 2010-2011. Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol, O’ Niel and one hell of a bench running a triangle offense. Can u say 3 peat before retirement.

  • dk

    Shaqs thoughts on the 2010 season thursday morning.

    ” Ring for the king ”

    Shaqs thoughts thursday night.

    ” Damn Kobe, epic ownage ”

    Enjoy the great city of Cleavland 4 a year Shaq Daddy lmao!!

  • dk

    @18 Actually in all reality it could be a five piece!

  • dk

    @ Ron Ron Micheal Jacksons doctors availible! You need to visit him after every game, NO GOING OUT, please stay sedated off the court!

  • http://deleted MNTwolves

    How come it’s (Rubio going back to Joventut for two years) only being reported here and realgm?

  • dk

    @ K Dizzle and the worst lyricist ever ( qq )

    You heard it here first. The VC move was horrid. You will witness a finals team burn in flames nxt season, just like the Suns. Orlando ruined everything

  • QQ

    Damn. This makes me jealous… Yeah, we got Carter.

    But this is the kind of signing where it blows everything up.

    Artest to the Lakers. The one man who made life miserable to them Lakers, IS NOW JOINING THEIR SQUAD.

    The West should be afraid. Be very FUCKING afraid.

  • dk

    you never dismatle a finals team. You tweak it. You dont let your best team player walk and hire a guy known for dunking and never getting it done. Orlando will be lucky to lose in the secound round.

  • dk

    My take on the Spurs off season.

    Signed a great scorer in Rich Jefferson.

    lmao good luck in the playoffs Artest on Jefferson, Kobe on Maneur Ginosebleed.

    Spurs grade :


  • Kobeef

    “this actually works out well for them” – are you for real? The Wolves blow a lottery pick on a guy who won’t help the team for 2 more years and you think this is a good idea…

    I hope the Hedo and Lee rumors in Toronto are an indication that Colangelo has finally grasped that Bosh is leaving. Bosh has done everything but hold a press conference to tell people he is leaving and some fans still think he is the future of the franchise…

  • dk

    @ Dime Yes you go out of your way to match that lousy 6 mill a year. For a solid back up center, you better. If not this yearyou will notivce D Ho’s foul trouble on a magor level. 2 words Toni Battie

  • QQ

    @ 26:

    I’m always burnin’ Carter because he’s a bitch, but I just hope this time, he finally gets it. Turk became a good defender in the Magic system. I hope that’s a good sign that Carter will be able to be one too.


  • sh!tfaced

    damn. ron artest in LA. cant wait to watch tmz tv and those kinds of shows and wait for something “artest” to happen.

  • dk

    @29 I dont have much faith n Vince but it gives me a reason to watch. I lke Devin Harris but I stil couldn watch Jersey games. Im a Floridian so good luck to the Magic and pray Wallace isnt in B town

  • mapletown

    As a Lakers fan i’m happy about the Artest move. BUT, the only way this works is if Phil Jackson and Lamar Odom both come back. I think Phil is a lock cuz i dont think he misses this chance to coach a squad with Kobe, Pau, and Ron. I do hope Lamar comes back though. Lakers will be a PROBLEM defensively for other teams for sure if he does.

  • flavur

    what is with the raptors stock piling all of these power forwards

  • dk

    Why no knows is beyond me but, obviously LO is coming back. Hes not dumb enough to go to Houston…

  • QQ

    I don’t care where Sheed plays, to tell you the truth. He’s nothing but about two 3 pointers now. No heart, no effort, just fucking insane. Just like Ron Artest, only without all the drive.

    When Millsap comes to Boston.. Now that’s a different story.

  • Ian

    so jefferson and manu arent doing anything then??? What about parker? Whos guarding him?
    Comon dont think those players are getting shut down those 5 are going to kill each other.

    Then again if manu isnt healthy it really wont matter.

  • Ian

    u r right about sheed i dont want him on the spurs.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    I really respect Ron for taking less money than he’s worth to be part of something special. I know Ron has his quirks but I think at this point in his career he can be a team player in the right situation. His shot jacking shouldn’t be too big of disruption considering the Lakers already have the best shot jacker in the League anyway.

    Sorry Gee but Ariza was a product of the system and the Rockets are going to be significantly worse next season. I’ve always rooted for Houston but as they are now they’re not a playoff squad.

    Funny how Ariza turned down the exception from the Lakers and then signed for only a million more to be on a worse team. He has a ring so I guess it’s about playing time or hurt feelings.

    Thank god teams kept their head and didn’t offer a ridiculous contract to Gortat. I’d say the $6 mill a year offer from Dallas is the ceiling for him and very fair.

  • dk

    @36 The Lakers will sweep the Spurs in the second round.

  • dk

    Ps Parker will average 72 points a game….

  • dk

    What I would pay to see Ariza next season, during a 20 point lashing, with the Rockets 10 and 41, sitting on the bench, wearing a BITCH ASSNESS shirt, timeless….

  • Ian

    or records wont let us meet in the second round and the swwep is possible if manu isnt lets say back to form. Youll prob right on parker if its fisher on him.

  • Kingston

    For the Lakers now, they must absolutely try their best to keep Lamar…

    If they were then to be able to pull off another great Pau Gasol-like coup (well, they are the Lakers anyway…) on free agent, Shawn Marion, then it will definitely look like a Fantasy team on defense (P.Gasol (on C), Lamar (on PF), Marion (on SF), Artest (on SG), Kobe (on PG))… Plain nightmares… lol

  • http://deleted MNTwolves

    Is Dime one of the infamous New York Rumor mill now? Do they really want Rubio in NY to let their guy (Flynn) to thrive in MN and make NY relevant again. Is dime throwing one stone to kill two birds here? Just my two cents

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    “The Wolves blow a lottery pick on a guy who won’t help the team for 2 more years and you think this is a good idea…”

    Remember David Robinson? Drafted in ’87, showed up in ’89. Just saying, as bad as the Rubio thing could’ve worked out for Minnesota, him staying in Spain for two years isn’t the worst scenario.

  • Ian

    Austin good point buttt robinson was a sure thing rubio isnt.

  • the cynic

    Tim Thomas never has thoughts of playing

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Spliff 2 My Lou

    If indeed the Rockets are “significantly worse next season” it ain’t gonna be cause they lost Ron. I mean come on Ron was valuable on D and “helped” on O, but it ain’t like he was the end all. If anything it’s going to be due to losing Yao.

    I appreciate Ron’s hustle plays, defense, 15 to 17 points but I won’t miss his jacking threes and ignoring other players so he can “create” lol.

    I ain’t saying Ariza is the answer by no means and I have already said he is a poor man’s Ron Artest but I think he will fit in fine. The main thing is figuring out how to replace Yao’s 20 points.