Hedo Prefers Canada

ESPN’s Ric Bucher has got the scoop. According to Bucher’s unnamed source, Hedo has broken off talks with the Blazers and is now headed to Toronto.  This probably means that the Raptors are giving up on signing Marion.  It’s almost certain that Portland fans will gripe, especially considering that Toronto’s increased offer undoubtedly played into the decision.

Really though, there is no reason to fret if you’re a Blazer fan.  The Blazers are stacked at the 2 and 3 spots with young skill players.  Travis Outlaw was a legitimate contender for 6th man of the year, and is consistently improving his game.  Martell Webster at one point was considered the best pure shooter in the touted 2004 draft class.  Even though he was injured for the entirety of 08-09 season, he is still young and  a valuable prospect.  Nicolas Batum is only 20 and has shown the athletic ability to be a solid NBA player.  Already one of the Blazers’ best lockdown defenders, Batum only really needs polish.  And Rudy Fernandez proved he was an athletic slasher with the ability to shoot the 3 ball.

Quick tidbit: it looks like Avery Johnson is interviewing for the Piston’s head coaching job.

Have a great, hoops filled 4th of July weekend.  Here is NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, father of Stephen Curry, to help you with your game.

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The Lakers lose an A only to get an A+

10-year veteran Ron Artest is heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, and he will surely be paying some fees for his extra baggage. The move comes after Trevor Ariza, an important part of the Lakers championship run, turned down the team’s multi-year offer. In basically performing a trade without the trade, the two free agents will swap jerseys as Ariza has agreed in principle to a deal with Houston worth $5.8 million for next season, with long term talks on the table. So what does the Artest move mean for the defending champions, and which Artest will they be paying those millions to?

Coming to Hollywood with a shady and checkered past, Artest unfortunately will always be rememkobe_artest_400bered by his participation in the Auburn Hills brawl on November 19, 2004 when he played for the Indiana Pacers. However, I would like to argue that last year with the Rockets was a huge step forward in the maturation process of the forward, who meshed well with his teammates and showed leadership qualities as Houston pushed the Lakers to a game seven in the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers are not only getting the 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year who, for his career, has averaged 2.1 steals per game, they are getting the “I have learned from my past mistakes Artest”.

In an interview with ESPN, Artest was asked about why he decided to take less money and play for the Lakers. His response: “I am playing to win; I am not playing for the money anymore”. If you just had a Karl Malone and Gary Payton flashback, you are not alone. However the difference here is that Artest is only 29 and coming off a stellar season. The next big question is what will happen to Lamar Odom? In an ESPN interview, expert NBA Analyst Ric Bucher reported the chances of Odom signing with the Lakers is “good”, stating that the two sides can focus on the contract now that Ariza is out, and that there are limited suitors for Odom around the league. If Odom stays on board, I’m putting my money on the Lakers for a repeat.

An article by David Peterson- our most recent addition to our committee will be found under the writing name: Davepete starting tomorrow