General Commotion

Reports surfaced yesterday that Ron Artest is close to signing a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.  I guess that playoff friction between Kobe and Ron is a thing of the past.  Artest will likely take the starting spot vacated by Trevor Ariza, who is reportedly very close to becoming a Houston Rocket.  The Cavs will now have to look elsewhere to upgrade their backcourt size, as both Artest and Ariza were primary targets.  How this affects Lamar Odom is, as of yet, unclear; details of his negotiations have been sparse.  What is clear though, is that Lamar is seeking a contract in the $10 million a year range.  The Cavs could be looking in that direction, but Lamar’s salary would be more than what the Cavs would’ve likely paid either Artest or Ariza.mmmm grub

Hedo is no longer an option for the Cavs either.  Reports today claim that Hedo in Portland is a done deal. (Portland Dominos Pizza locations get ready.) Terms of the contract are unknown since the league has yet to announce the salary cap for the upcoming season.  Keep tabs on the situation in Portland, where rumors suggest Rudy Fernandez is unhappy with the possibility of diminished playing time.  The minutes were thin at the shooting guard and small forward positions last year, and that’s bound to be exacerbated by the addition of Turkoglu and return of Martell Webster.  Stay tuned.

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Bron Bron and Artest?

The Cavaliers are stoked.  Not only did they land the giant Saguaro Shaquille O’Neal, but now Lebron is working his star power in an attempt to convince Mr. Ron Artest to join them in Cleveland.  Signing a guy like Artest would be huge, making them the unequivocal favorites to win the east, even if the Celtics are healthy.  Also, it’s rumored Trevor Ariza’s representation is making him available to the rest of the league.  It sounds like talks with the Lakers are breaking down and the Cavaliers are possible suitors.  Ariza probably wouldn’t have the immediate impact that Artest would, but he is also much younger and his game has consistently improved since leaving UCLA for the NBA.  Ariza could be a great long-term fit but the Cavs appear unwilling to wait for a title.  In either scenario however, the Cavs will be in great shape.

In other news, Detroit has made the first big moves in the free agent market.  With their seemingly endless cap space they were able to pursue and sign both Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon.  The reported deals have Ben Gordon earning $55 million over 5 years and Villanueva raking in $40 million over 4 years.  Now all they need is a coach.

(Also it’s rumored Rudy Fernandez is pissed about the possible Hedo deal.  Watch it closely, he is reportedly considering heading back to Europe.)

You know that Heinekan commercial where a group of women scream with the sight of their friend’s new walk in closet only to over hear their husbands screaming louder with the sight of a walk in closet filled with beer? Well imagine that with Shaq and Artest joining in. Confused? Watch below.