Blog Entry

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

Posted on: July 1, 2009 7:18 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2009 2:20 am
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You want buzz? How's Ron Artest playing on the same team with LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal?

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Cavs -- and LeBron himself -- are recruiting Artest to form a new Big Three in Cleveland that would be entertaining, potentially combustible, and perhaps even really, really good. The possibilities are endless -- great quotes, controversies, Artest advocating for LeBron in the LeBron-Kobe debate. Maybe even a championship.

Artest has been fielding offers from several teams, but so far the most impressive has to be Cleveland's courtship, which included LeBron making an in-person pitch recently when both players were in Los Angeles for events. This could develop quickly; a person close to Artest indicated that the small forward was expecting to start sorting through offers as early as Wednesday night.

By joining the Rockets last season and not making any waves -- not to mention his mostly effective contributions in the playoffs -- Artest earned himself one more free-agent score. And the value won't necessarily be measured in dollars, but in the opportunity to win a championship. For that reason, and in order to repay the Rockets for taking a chance on him, Artest had been leaning toward returning to Houston. But the possibility that Yao Ming could miss the entire 2009-10 season has changed everything.

Artest made several conspicuous appearances at Lakers home games during the Finals, and L.A. could be a formidable competitor for Artest's services -- especially if the Lakers lose either Lamar Odom or Trevor Ariza, both unrestricted free agents.

The most the Cavs can offer is the mid-level exception of about $5.6 million, and Artest figures to do better elsewhere -- in terms of dollars but not opportunity. At various times during the past two years as he approached free agency, Artest repeatedly said he wasn't looking for one more pay day, but rather for the chance to win a championship. The opportunity has arrived.

Here's more free-agent buzz from conversations with executives, agents, and others in the know:

* After CBSSports.com reported early Wednesday that the Trail Blazers were aggressively pursuing Hedo Turkoglu, the free-agent forward will receive a visit from Portland coach Nate McMillan Wednesday night in Orlando. Turkoglu is expected to accept the team's invitation to tour Portland and the Blazers' facilities on Thursday. An offer -- believed to be a five-year deal in the $50 million range -- is expected to be extended at that time. As many as five teams have inquired about Turkoglu -- some with cap room, some without, according to agent Lon Babby. One of them is not the Detroit Pistons, who have focused their attention on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

UPDATE: The Raptors are debating whether to make a pre-emptive offer to Turkoglu that would top Portland's, but that would require renouncing the rights to Shawn Marion, Carlos Delfino, and Anthony Parker. Another option is to keep those players and sign a mid-level free agent. If the Raptors decide to go for a bigger name, Turkoglu isn't the only one they're considering. They also have interest in Knicks restricted free agent David Lee.

* The Knicks rolled out the red carpet for Jason Kidd at Madison Square Garden Wednesday, but the Mavericks still have the advantage in their efforts to retain the future Hall of Fame point guard. A person familiar with the talks said there are strong indications that Mavs owner Mark Cuban is willing to offer Kidd a three-year deal, which is well beyond what the Knicks are prepared to offer.

* Suns free agent Grant Hill received an in-person pitch from Steve Kerr in Orlando after free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and has been invited to visit the Knicks next week. The Celtics, who are heavily recruiting Rasheed Wallace, also have expressed interest in Hill.

* If Trevor Ariza feels slighted that all the Lakers can offer him is the mid-level exception, it's not clear where he's going to do better than that on the open market. One rival executive believes the Lakers have prioritized Ariza over their other unrestricted free agent, Lamar Odom, and several sources believe they still have a chance to retain both. The Spurs have expressed interest in Odom, as well as Marcin Gortat (courted by the Rockets), and Antonio McDyess.



 

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Comments

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2009 5:43 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

i think the starting lineup would be

shaq at center

Lebron at pf

ron artest at sf

and mo williams and delonte west as the guards..
i don't see z and shaq playing at the same time the whole season, lebron or artest could play sf or pf in my mind.



Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2009 5:39 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)


Kynappy1,

Ummmm I big Magic fan, but you my friend don't keep up with basketball like you sound like you do. Big Ben is gone to the Suns. So reguardless if he retires or not he wont help the Cavs either way. So maybe you are the one that needs to get with program.



Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2009 4:44 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

Best fix for Arest is the Lakers, but not Cavs whom has not same kind of great stuff as Lakers does.

Compare Shaq and Big Z to Odom, BYnum and Gasol. whom got a better form that's easy to answer.

Kobe Bryant is way better experience than young Lebron. easy to compare. Lakers got everything that Artest wants to, so why not Lakers sign Artest and Odom back and Ariza is good for longer term but Lakers may not need a longer look at this time 



Since: May 19, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2009 4:03 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

let me see... potential Cleveland line up:

Shaq(300lbs goofy hall of famer who rap skills are worse than Young MC)

Ron Artest( a fake thug who got punked by Ben Wallace)

Lebron James ( a square face little head superstar who like to bite his nails)

Mo Williams (  A headband wearing smurf who choked n Game 1 of the Eastern conference finals)

Delonte west ( A ugly light-skinned guy with loud tattoos)

I'll buy it.. Go Cleveland get that championship!!!!!!



Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2009 3:55 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

Artest would fit in well. His defense will get the team the ball a lot and into Lebron's hands plenty. Do you really think Artest is going to give Cleveland an attitude? I bet he'd be on his best behavior because Shaq and Lebron aren't going to put up with Artest's babying. That would be a good fit actually. Artest was on good behavior in Houston and it would only be better playing for those 2 big men in Cleveland.



Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2009 3:28 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

This is a move that sounds good on paper but wouldn't translate on the court, much like the Shaq move. They already have a 6-8 small forward. His name is LeBron James, maybe you've heard of him. They need a POWER FORWARD, not another over the hill center or small forward. Go after Sheed or if that fails, Antonio McDyess or Brandon Bass. I like Bass for this team despite his lack of shooting range. He's a beast under the boards and can run the floor while Shaq or Z are sucking wind at the other end of the floor making outlet passes.



Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2009 3:10 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

sheed hates the cavs and said they are not on his list of teams he is interested in. even more proof of that is he wants to go to either the celtics or magic ... as we know these three teams are building epic playoff battles. sheed will not come to cleveland you and bet on that. and artest can score ... i think he averaged around 15 or so last year plus he's decent from three and the best defensive forward available. i never thought i'd want to see him play for the cavs after that mess in detroit a few years back but he's shaped up and he would make the cavs defence amazing!



Since: Feb 26, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2009 2:36 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

ARTEST GOING TO LAKERS ARIZA TO CAVS !



Since: Oct 14, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2009 12:50 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

Like wise!  And I want some blood this time!  Forget this good will tour crap with LeBron taking the court smiling and what not.  Calling it a night by halftime!  No!  I want to see them killl some teams!  Some crushing fouls when needed!  Heck.  Stick out your foot if you have too.  I don't want anyone to get hurt I guess I'm just saying last season seemed like a coast.  Time for the Cleveland Cavaliers "Bad Will Tour"!   Yea!



Since: Oct 27, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2009 12:46 pm
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs? (UPDATE)

Artest to the Cavaliers it could be great!  The Cavaliers could compare like Chicago Bulls championship team in 1990-93.

Shaq O'Neal - (Bill Cartwright)
Zydrinas IIgauskas - (Horace Grant)
Mo Williams - (B.J. Armstrong)
LeBorn James - (Micheal Jordan)
Ron Artest - (Scottie Peppin)

The Cavaliers win the title and offer LeBorn James worth around $125 to $175 million 5 years.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com