Overshadowed in the Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony silliness Tuesday was a report from ESPN’s Ric Bucher that the Lakers also have tried to move Ron Artest.
Bucher states the Lakers called the Bobcats looking to swap Ron Artest for either Stephen Jackson or Gerald Wallace, and that the Bobcats turned it down. Artest, when asked about it today, kind of blew off the question, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Apparently the Lakers were hoping that Isiah Thomas was consulting with the Bobcats, because that’s a terrible trade for them. Bucher suggested it was dead, and it should be.
What the Bobcats and Michael Jordan want to is cut payroll — Ron Artest has one more year and a couple million more on his contract than both Wallace and Henderson. Artest does make less money each season, but the extra year slows down the rebuilding process and still has to be paid out.
This works for the Lakers and their goal of upgrading at the three. Artest continues to be a better defender at the three than Jackson (based on opponent PER this season), but Jackson provides more shot creation on offense. Wallace is just a better player all around at this point in his career.
But if the Bobcats are going to move either it will not be for an older player with a longer, more expensive deal. It will be for youth and picks. What every team wants.
Which is why the Lakers are really stuck with the roster they have — it is older players on expensive deals. That’s great for winning right now (hence the two titles) but it’s bad for making trades.