With all the rumors circulating around Ron Artest possibly being traded to the Knicks, the gang here at KnickerBlogger decided to try to figure out who we would trade for Artest if we were, in fact, forced to do so.
Pick out which offer you think is the best (on the grounds of being good for the Knicks and still being acceptable for the Kings)! Or share your own suggestion (Here is ESPN’s handy dandy Trade Machine, for you to see if your trade fits in with the NBA’s various salary cap rules)!!
Brian Cronin – I would be willing to part with two different options:
1. Quentin Richardson – If Artest came to the Knicks, Richardson would be screwed anyways, as Artest plays the exact same position as Richardson (Small Forward who can play Shooting Guard), and since I think Artest is a better player than Richardson, I would be willing to swap the two players.
As for the Kings, Richardson is not an awful return on Artest. I mean, at this exact point in their careers, is Richardson much worse than Peja? And that’s all Sacramento gave up for Artest.
2. Jamal Crawford – This is a bit of a trickier trade, because, as I said above, Artest and Richardson play the same position (2/3), so having them both on the same team, with Nate and Balkman and Jeffries and Chandler (heck, even with a little Lee mixed in at the 3) – it would get crowded quickly.
However, if there is a good, marketable player on the Knicks who they could afford to lose without really hurting the team that much – it’s Jamal Crawford. So I’d be willing to risk it.
From the Kings’ perspective, Crawford is an exciting player, and would allow them to trade off Bibby for nothing and go forth with a Crawford/Martin back court for the next few years. While Crawford isn’t that great, he’s definitely a marketable player (see Crawford’s 52 against Miami), so I think that, while this would not be as good of a trade TALENT-wise for the Kings, it might actually be a better one from a PR standpoint.
KnickerBlogger: I chose the null option partially because Cronin took one of the few deals that I would take. I would do Crawford for Artest primarily because I’m not a big fan of Crawford’s out of control low percentage shooting. In any case I’ll play devil’s advocate on not trading for Artest, not that it’s far from what I actually think. It’s not so much that I wouldn’t want Ron Artest the player. For once Isiah would be getting a player that wouldn’t be a liability on the defensive end. And the Knicks could sure use help on the defensive end.
The problem is Ron Artest the person. I don’t think I need to rehash Artest’s history, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he’s a risk to himself and his team. It’s not inconceivable that Artest does something crazy enough to create a media circus and make 2008 a repulsive season for the fans. Knick fans have suffered through a brutal decade so far, and Artest could figuratively (or literally) give New Yorkers a black eye.
Not only could Artest’s actions ruin the season, but he could hurt the development of New York’s youngsters. David Lee and Renaldo Balkman have yet to hit their prime while showing flashes of brilliance. Meanwhile Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins, and Randolph Morris are becoming useful role players. Bringing a player like Artest aboard could cut into the playing time and progress of these promising players.
If the Knicks did trade for Artest, I would sure hope they don’t pay much (Crawford, Jeffries, Rose, etc.). Although he’s a talented defender, I would hate for the Knicks to trade useful prospects away only to have Artest self destruct.