Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Artest Rockets to Houston

The Houston Rockets have just pulled off a major trade with Sacramento Kings.  The Rockets will receive forward Ron Artest.  The Kings will get Donte Green (he'll be a rookie this season), Bobby Jackson, a first round draft pick next year, and cash considerations.  Artest averaged 20.5 points last season.  Donte Green had a good year with Syracuse, averaging 17.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season.  He was picked 28th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft.  Bobby Jackson averaged a little over seven points per game this season.

I think this trade works out for both teams.  The Rockets get a top notch forward, both on offense and defense.  Artest will join Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming in Houston.  Their outstanding starting lineup will look like this (2007-08 stats in parenthesis):
PG Rafer Alston (13.1 points per game, 5.3 assists per game)
SG Tracy McGrady (21.6 ppg, 5.9 apg)
SF Ron Artest (20.5 ppg, 5.8 rebounds per game)
PF Luis Scola (10.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
C  Yao Ming  (22 ppg, 1o.8 rpg)

That's pretty good.  All of their starters average double-digit point totals.  The Rockets finished 5th in the tough Western Conference.  They got beat in the first round by Utah last year in the playoffs.  If everybody can stay healthy, the Rockets may be able to crack the top three in the Western Conference.

Artest was not happy in Sacramento, and I think the Kings should be content with the trade.  Artest can be a distraction for them as they enter rebuilding mode.  They will get a rookie (Donte Green) with loads of potential, and they will also get another first round pick.  This trade works out for both teams.

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