One week and counting until the trade deadline.
And from this corner of the NBA world, I still see Denver as the most likely destination for Ron Artest.
Sure, the Nuggets have won six of their last eight, but they can't think for a minute that they're ready to take on the new-look Lakers or the soon-to-be-supped up Dallas Mavericks (folks I talked to today still expect the Jason Kidd deal to eventually go through). They still need help, and Artest showed them on Wednesday night just how much he could provide. Meanwhile among other known potential destinations, it sounds like New York is just going to wait to try and sign Artest in the offseason and I just can't see a scenario in which Golden State actually makes a move for him (Nor, for the record, can the San Jose Mercury's Tim Kawakami in this fine post).
Talk about showcasing a player? I can't read minds, and surely Kings coach Reggie Theus took the right road by continually going to Artest when he was hot late on Wednesday night against Houston. But not only did he score 30 points on 11 of 18 shooting, he held Tracy McGrady to 3 of 12 shooting and 10 points. Dominating on both ends, and much of the reason he's still talked about as one of the best two-way players in the game today. Former Kings coach Rick Adelman, who could use a roster addition himself, even walked away surprised and impressed.
I spoke to Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie today about a season analysis story, and asked him about the trade front near the end of our conversation. Things heating up, Kings' boss man?
"Uh, on the backburner," he said quietly. "No one's getting traded today."
If it is indeed Denver on the stove, then don't forget that Linas Kleiza is - in my estimation - the key to the deal. He's a young small forward with big upside, and - as Hoopsworld's Travis Heath argues here - he could hold up any potential deal altogether.
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As with the rest of this forum, it'll be a work in progress. But please, feel free to give your opinion, rip my opinion (or maybe agree occasionally), and engage in the sort of Kings chatter that you can't get anywhere else. I will still answer Q&As sporadically, but may find myself responding to comments on the blog as well. - Sam Amick