Spurs nearing deal for Artest?


artestAccording to Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee, the Spurs may be nearing a deal for Ron Artest that would send Brent Barry and Francisco Elson to the Kings.

12:22 p.m.
The Spurs may be nearing a deal for Artest, although it’s also believed Denver may finally be willing to give up Linas Kleiza. Of course, my flight from Portland to Sacramento is at this very moment, so we’ll see where things stand when I land.
(10:40 a.m.):
Add San Antonio to the list of teams that will try to steal Ron Artest.
I don’t see Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie biting, but I’m told that the Spurs will (or maybe have) offer the expiring contracts of Francisco Elson and Brent Barry (combined $8.54 million) for Artest. A draft pick would likely be available, too, but this would seem to be yet another low-ball offer as the Kings see it. But if it did happen and Ron was united with the team he demolished in the playoffs two years ago? Oooweee. The rich would be filthy rich…

While Artest doesn’t fit the milk and cookies good boy image of the Spurs, I would not mind this trade one bit if it actually went through. Heres why: Artest plays with passion and I think he would give the Spurs an edge and a player with the type of attitude the Spurs are missing. Having the two best perimeter defenders in the league in Artest and Bowen, along with Bowen’s protege Ime Udoka off the bench, would be deadly in the playoffs, especially against teams that have all-stars at the two and three. I can imagine a Finals with Garnett, Pierce and Allen matched up with Duncan, Artest and Bowen.
Yes, I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’ve said for weeks and Jeff Garcia has said for weeks, especially on the Spurscast, that the Spurs need some change. Although I’d prefer it to be a young power forward or center, I certainly would welcome the addition of Artest, checkered past and all.
I think playing for a championship would give Artest plenty of reason to stay out of trouble and would motivate him. I also think he would work fine under Pop. Heck, he even called Tim Duncan a pimp. What more can you ask?