A source close to the Kings has confirmed a Houston Chronicle report that Ron Artest is headed for Houston. According to the source, the deal is well on its way to taking place and only a necessary waiting game stands in the way. A Rockets official told The Bee's Scott Howard-Cooper this evening that "It feels very done to me."
The Kings will receive Bobby Jackson, a first-round draft pick next season, recent first-round draft pick/6-foot-10 small forward Donte Greene out of Syracuse and cash considerations. The trade, however, can not be finalized until Aug. 14 because that is the earliest date on which Greene can be traded.
According to a second source close to the Kings, second-round draft picks Sean Singletary and Patrick Ewing Jr. could be sent to Houston as a means to keep the Kings under the luxury tax. Both players have partially guaranteed contracts that aren't fully guaranteed until the beginning of the regular season. That element of the deal, however, could be handled with different pieces as well. Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie had this to say in a statement.
"We've had some very positive discussions with Houston involving Ron, but no trade is imminent at this time," Petrie said .
Reached by phone at 6 p.m. Pacific time, Jackson said he had just been told of the likely trade.
"I got wind of it, but it's not done yet," said Jackson, the point guard who was a fan favorite with the Kings from 2000 to 2005. "It's a possibility. I don't know yet."
Greene was taken by Memphis with the 28th pick, then traded to Houston on draft night as part of a three-team deal also involving Portland. He was the second leading scorer in Las Vegas summer league earlier this month, averaging 22.6 points in five games and capping his coming out party with a 22-point outing against the Kings in a finale win on July 20.
As for the numbers, Jackson is set to earn $6.09 million in the final year of his contract and Greene will make $971,160 in the first of his two guaranteed years. Artest will earn $7.4 million in the final season of his deal. - Sam Amick