The NBA Free Agency Period is in full swing and Ron Artest has decided to pull the first big shocker as he will be joining the Los Angeles Lakers to pair up with Kobe Bryant.
The news came across the wire yesterday as Artest told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that he was in Los Angeles to sign the deal. At this point, the deal itself is believed to be a three year deal but the monetary value is not known yet.
Former Laker Trevor Ariza has officially decided to move into Artest old spot in Houston as he has verbally agreed to a deal. It is obviously a step down for the Rockets but I think most of us figured that Artest was going to leave due to the Yao Ming injury. The future for Lamar Odom definitely looks a little brighter since it almost seems that he will be staying put in Los Angeles with this signing.
Can Artest coexist with Kobe and Company? To be honest, I do think so since I believe that Artest just wants to win a championship and will do anything to get one. He is a hard-nosed defensive player who is also a threat to score at any point of the court.
For everyone who believes that Artest might be a distraction for the Lakers, I doubt highly that he will. He has gone through two stints in Sacramento and Houston without incident. The Malice at the Palace seems to be behind him, for now.
With the flurry of moves that have occurred before this period of time, it appeared that the Lakers would be behind the eight ball. Now, it appears that they will be back in the clubhouse as the team most likely to win the championship in 2009-2010.