Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ron Artest to the Sixers?

With the Sixers recently entering the playoff picture, their focus might change from selling off veterans like Andre Miller to picking up a few pieces to help get them to the next level. While no one thinks the Sixers will even win a round, it would be nice for some of the young guys to at least get some experience in the playoffs. With the NBA trade deadline approaching, rumors will start to intensify regarding what, if anything, the Sixers might do.

One rumor that seems to have come out of left field is that the Sixers are looking into acquiring Ron Artest from the Sacramento Kings. While Marc Narducci shoots this idea down, I am trying to figure out how it would make any sense at all. First of all, Artest is a good player who is a solid defender and above average scorer, but where would he fit in on this team? The Sixers don't need another small forward, they already have Andre Iguodala, and that is the natural position for Thaddeus Young. Artest's character has never been his strong suit, either, so why would Philly want to risk poisoning the locker room and possibly ruining the attitudes of the younger guys? Also, the asking price for Artest is probably too high, with the Kings probably wanting two young guys and a draft pick. Would you really want to see the Sixers give up Lou Williams, Jason Smith and a first round pick?

Ron Artest belongs to a team that is in a win-now mode, not a team in rebuilding mode. The Denver Nuggets may be interested as well, and that would actually make sense. Artest would fit in on a veteran team that can ignore the stupid things he says and does off-court and just appreciate his on-court skills.

If the Sixers make any moves at all before the February 22nd trade deadline, I would hope it is for a young player, preferably a power forward, with lots of upside. If they do decide to move Andre Miller, they better get a couple of solid pieces that will help them for the next few years. Their best move might be to do nothing at all and see whether the young guys can lead them into the playoffs. Then, in the off-season, the Sixers will better know what they have, and what pieces they are missing.

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