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

Posted on: July 1, 2009 7:18 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2009 2:20 am
 

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.



 

Comments

Since: Dec 6, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2009 12:41 pm
 

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

"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 could miss the entire 2009-10 season has changed everything."

 

No it didn't, you buffoon.  Ron came out and said Yao Ming and/or his injury had no effect on his desire to return to Houston.  You'd think a "journalist" (or perhaps more aptly, a glorified blogger) could look into this a bit before slamming the Rockets on every Free Agent "report" and how Yao Ming's injury changed everything.

Get a clue.

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Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2009 12:23 pm
 

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

Before free agency started I thought Artest would be perfect for Cleveland.  Defensively, he makes everyone better and he is a great third scoring option.  There is always the potential for an explosion with Ron-Ron but he brings an intensity to the game that the Cavs would benefit from.




Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2009 11:56 am
 

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

So, just like this past season the Cavs will field the best team and will win the championship again......errr oh yea, they didn't.



Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2009 9:36 am
 

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

The Magic have spoken to Mavericks forward Brandon Bass and to Wallace's agent, that's the only definite things I've heard.



Since: Jan 7, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2009 9:33 am
 

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

WOW!!!  What a great post!!!  You even got to include 2 of your own nicknames in there, your parents must be SO proud!!! 
LeBron wants to win a championship, Artest wants to win a championship, Shaq wants to win a championship...I don't care how many points each player is used to scoring, when you want to win a title and your team has one goal, the number of shots, points, rebounds, etc... takes a back seat.  If Artest does indeed come to Cleveland, it will be a very refreshing signing.  Not only will a smaller market team get a great player, but that player will have to do so simply for the chance to win a championship rather than making his pockets as fat as he possibly can. 
You can keep your nicknames, the city of Cleveland will take whatever player they can acquire in order to bring a championship to our great city!



Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2009 9:13 am
 

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

kynappy1 : Since you were making a point to call someone else out, I thought it only right to let you know that Big Ben is no longer on the Cavs...idiot! He was traded in the Shaq deal. You should also get with the program buddy.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2009 2:13 am
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs?

This all sounds great, especially if the egos are left out of it.  Cleveland is a fun team and that's exactly what Artest needs to have.  I'm impressed that Artests is willing to sign for less just to win a title.  And yes, he's and solid defender who can score - that's exactly what the championship Bulls, Pistons, Spurs, and today's Lakers had, solid defenders that can score!!
Then there's the city of Cleveland factor - no one seems to be able to win a title!!  Many years ago before Brian Sipe's famous interception against Oakland, I predicted that the Browns would be the first team to win a championship in Cleveland.  Please let the Cavs prove me wrong cause I don't see the Browns winning doo, doo in the next decade!!




Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2009 1:37 am
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs?

I think Millsap is a better choice for the cavs, Rasheed is past his prime. And last thing they need is a PF thinking he's a three point shooter. Not to mention his relationship with the refs. Artest on the other hand is also a freakshow but, he is a team player. That lockdown defense he plays would make the Cavs a favorite. If this happens though, The NBA is starting to get like 5th grade recess ball. LEBRON, RON, AND SHAQ stand. RAY, PAUL, AND KEVIN stand. Kind of ridiculous in my book.


WOM Motorsports
Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2009 1:23 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2009 1:13 am
 

Free-Agent Buzz: Artest to Cavs?

Who the hell is Shaw...It's Shaq you idiot...Big Z is backing up Shaq. Why do you even post? You obviously have no concept of why Shaq was pursued in the first place. Why would you have Shaq and Big Z starting at the same time, who is going to play back up? Anderson Varajeo is out and he is a PF not a center. Big Ben is cotemplating retirement so you strikeout here, because more than likely he is going to retire with all the injuries that have been occurring, and Joe Smith is a PF not a center, so who did you have in mind for center to backup Shaq?...lol They brought in Shaq to have a 1-2 punch on the inside with both strings. Shaq starting and then you hit them with Big Z with the second string. It's pretty cut and dry buddy, get with the program.


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