I JUST SAW IT ON THE TICKER.....
I think it was a good decision. He goes to a team in a mid-transition. Ariza, Brooks and Landry are the young guns they are gonna let develop and build around? I dunno now. Thoughts?
I like Ariza
But we talkin about buddy like he's goin to go out and give you 20+ anite
I can't remember the last time I saw a de facto trade in free agency, but today it took only a couple hours for one to happen.
This afternoon on the West Coast former Rocket Ron Artest agreed to a deal to join the Lakers, and then later this evening came the news that former Laker Trevor Ariza had agreed to join the Rockets. The two players play the same position (small forward) and signed for similar money (the full mid-level exception), so it basically comes down to two teams' differing needs and what those players can provide.
From L.A.'s side, they're plugging Artest into Ariza's role at small forward as a floor spacer, transition finisher and occasional inbound-pass stealer. In terms of stats, this works. At small forward, L.A. mostly needs a floor spacer, and as far as floor-spacing ability goes, Artest is superior to Ariza -- he shot 39.9 percent on 3s last season, Ariza 31.9 percent. Although Ariza shot much better in the postseason, he's at just 29.9 percent for his career. So although it's possible he made a lasting improvement late last season, it's at least as likely that he was just having a good month. Overall, Artest isn't as efficient as Ariza offensively because he tends to force terrible shots, but that's likely to be less of a problem in a system in which he's the fourth option behind Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Additionally, he's a good passer who might see his assist rate bump significantly in L.A.
Ariza is also a better rebounder, but Artest more than offsets that with his defense -- not that Ariza is a slouch, as any Denver Nuggets inbound passer will attest, but Artest is among the very best on-ball defenders in basketball. That difference is likely to become particularly important should the Lakers find themselves facing Cleveland in next year's Finals, where a certain LeBron James is likely to be the focal point of the Cavs' offense. Artest is one of the few players in the league who can match James physically, so he'd be a tremendous asset in such a pairing.
This move already is making some Lakers fans uneasy. Any time a championship team makes a prominent personnel move, a significant chorus says, "Why mess it up?" But in truth, nothing messes it up more than standing pat. Bryant isn't getting any younger, and the arms race in the East between Orlando and Cleveland had to get the Lakers' attention. Artest will give them an ace defender to send out against James or Vince Carter in the Finals, not to mention the likes of Manu Ginobili, Carmelo Anthony and Brandon Roy on the Lakers' likely road through the Western Conference playoffs.
The big risk, here, of course, is that it's Ron Artest and, as he showed in Indiana, few players can be more destructive to a team's hopes. But there are a couple of things working in the Lakers' favor here. First, he's been reasonably well-behaved since leaving the Pacers. Second, his worst ball-hogging habits tend to pop out when he's the go-to guy -- but as a role player, he should be extremely effective.
And most importantly, they have Phil Jackson. Perhaps nobody in the history of the game has dealt more successfully with problem players than Jackson, most notably when he coaxed three extremely productive seasons out of Dennis Rodman with the Bulls.
L.A. appears to be getting Artest at reasonable terms, as well -- a three-year, $18 million deal that likely will end up being about half what Ariza gets on the open market (in total dollars). There's a reason for that, of course, as nobody can trust Artest to behave himself for the full tenure of a long-term deal, or the full tenure of a 10-day contract for that matter. But in the Lakers' case, it's a reasonable gamble as they try to get as much as possible out of Bryant's and Gasol's prime years. For Houston, on the other hand, it wasn't. Their time horizon has been pushed farther out into the future by the injuries to Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, making the brighter future of Ariza a more important consideration than the greater present value offered by Artest.
Houston committed five years the full mid-level for Ariza (an estimated $33.5 million), which is risky -- just look back at the history of players getting the full mid-level exception. The difference here is that most of those players were in their late 20s and early 30s, where is Ariza just turned 24 a few days ago and should still be in the middle of his prime at the end of the contract.
He also fills in a glaring hole at small forward left by the departure of Artest and the free agency of McGrady, though he's not the offensive initiator that those two players were.
Signing Ariza (or keeping Artest, for that matter) does come with two major downsides for Houston. First, it puts them into the luxury tax for this season, though they are close enough to the line that they an likely wriggle out of it by the trade deadline by paying somebody to take Brian Cook off their hands or another deal of that ilk.
Second, it cuts into their cap hoard for 2010. Houston projected to have enough money to sign a player to maximum contract next summer; now, depending on next year's cap number, the Rockets would probably have to cut Chuck Hayes and renounce Kyle Lowry to get far enough under to make a run at native Texan Chris Bosh or some of the other plum free agents out there.
But for both teams, it looks like the right move. There was no reason for the Rockets to bring back Artest in a situation where they weren't going to be competing for a championship immediately, and with Yao out indefinitely the Rockets are definitely taking a step back.
And for the Lakers, it was a good proactive move to ward off post-championship complacency. Too many times teams stand pat after winning a title and watch things fall apart a year later -- Miami in the summer of 2006, for instance, or these very Lakers in the summer of 2002. L.A. realized it needed to rearm to keep up with Orlando and Cleveland, and today it upgraded one of the two positions where it didn't already have a star
Ariza is a ok role player. He is not worth discussing like a major free agent. He is not. He does not get you double figures and he played with Kobe so of course he looked a lil better. He does not make the Rockets even close to relevant.
i've always thought he's capable of becoming a good and solid player. he's athletic, he's got 3pt range, tough D, he can pass, and rebound. he only needs a solid jumpshot and then he can be a star in a team. that's just me though.
also, he had this nice jumper from 16 feet in the finals, which looked similar to kobe's. i hope he works on that.
I think Ariza will develop well but Artest was a better pick up for the Lakers, his has a veteran savy that will help the Lakers plus he can post up and if more consistent overall then Ariza. I like Ariza and I think Houston will give him time to grow his full game but he was not going to have that same freedom for the Lakers. The Lakers should be able to draft a young forward next year to play a similiar role to Ariza. Also Shannon Brown should resign and you have potential 3 good perimeter defenders with Bynum and Gasol in the paint. I think Shannon Brown will have a similiar jump like Ariza did if he resign which he should because not many people are looking at him.
The Lakers made a smart move with signing artest over ariza because they need to win now. Ariza is a good role player that has tons of potential because he is so young but he won't produce nearly as much as Artest. With all the stars aging on that roster kobe and pau in there 30's they need to win now to take advantage of the situation. The Rockets made a good move not getting Artest because they know they might have to rebuild with the Yao situation but Ariza can still produce if it turns out they don't need to rebuild. Yao is also still 28 and he never really counted on his athletic ability so he should last a good 5 years unless his foot just completely fails him along the way. This will give the young guns time to develop.
i havent heard of any laker fans being uneasy..alll the ones ive talked to (including me minus the talking to part)..are excited over this trade...artest is the better rebounder by the way ..he stayed on the wing shooting a bunch of jumpers this year and chasing the other teams best player ...arizas agent is a fool and though ariza was better then he is ..though hes a good player teams realized he is a product of the system and he had a very good playoffs shooting ...it also helps when the defense is mostly focused on 2 all nba players which leave you wide open..he will be missed in l.a cuz he helped us to a title ....i really do question his agent because ariza said he wanted to stay a laker then his agent said there will be no home town discount and the lakers offered him basically the same thing the rockets did but his agent though he could get alot more then the MLE and once he found out the market for ariza wasnt as big as he thought it was too late to go back because the lakers got a better player and paid less to get him