By Chris Le
Ron Artest will once again play for a title contender.
Numerous sources report that the Sacramento Kings have agreed to trade the troubled yet multi-talented forward to the Rockets for guard Bobby Jackson, next year’s No. 1 pick, and rookie Donte Greene, who showed a scorching hand in the summer league, dropping 40 points in his debut and 22.6 ppg overall—second only to Portland’s Jerryd Bayless.
The deal will not be final until after August 14 since Greene cannot be traded before that date.
I think this gamble makes the Rockets contenders for the title. The combination of Artest, Tracy McGrady, and Yao Ming, though all three are injury prone, will be as fierce as any trio in the league. Also, already having Shane Battier, the addition of Artest gives Houston one of the best perimeter defenses around.
I wouldn’t worry about any immediate—I say again, immediate—bouts of insanity from Artest mainly because he will be reunited with Coach Rick Adelman, with whom he has a good relationship. Or, about as good a relationship Artest has had with an authority figure.
Look for the Rockets to improve upon their already impressive 55-27 record.