In this post I am going to be making my case for the Blazers to sign Ron Artest. Rather then other 10 million dollar options, like Andre Miller, Kirk Hinrich or Hedo Turkoglu.
- Offense: Compared to Turkoglu(A name often thrown around as someone the Blazers could sign at the 3). Shot selection(.401% last year, but .453% in Sacramento the year before). Regular season wise, not much worse then Turkoglu(.413%). A better 3pt shooter(.399% with 5.2 3's per game) then Turkoglu(.356% with 4.9 3's per game). Was not very clutch last year(As we know, that is Roy's department. At that point, Artest should be focused on shutting down the opposing SF), but the Rockets didn't have many close contests, so its tough to tell. A usage rate of 22, compared to Tony Parker who logged 30 average on the season. With the scorers here & McMillan as coach, I think his shooting % goes back up, somewhere between .425%-.450%
- Defense: Intense, borderline crazy. Very strong. Very active. Great post defender against other SF's(Just about the only SF in the NBA who can post him up is LeBron). Holds opposing 3's to an average of 12.3 PER rating, while he puts up 17.6 PER. Won defensive player of the year in 2003-2004. It is debateable but I would say he is top 3 at defending the SF spot in the NBA.(Behind LeBron, Pierce). High number of steals, while not gambling too much.
- Artest's Insanity: He is very crazy. That is for sure. However, plenty of crazy people have had great success in the NBA. Dennis Rodman(Multiple championships) in the 90's & most recently, Kevin Garnett(NBA Champion 2007-2008). I don't think he is an issue off the court, seems to have matured since the suspension.
- Minutes/Shot Distribution: How it would work. Lets look back to 2007-2008, Outlaw took 11.8 shots per game, Webster took 8.7 shots per game. Artest is a better 3pt shooter then both Outlaw & Webster. Better rebounder, better defender & a better passer. Give Artest 15 shots per game, 35mpg(Can also play some 4, at least as much as Outlaw did, but more on that in a bit). Between the salaries of Outlaw/Webster potentially being gone, we can cover Artest pretty well in that department. Give him a two year deal, with the 3rd being a team option.
- Versatility: I see him most definitely being able to have more success sliding to the 4 when Aldridge is out, then Outlaw did. He can do the same thing Outlaw did, in terms of attempting to drag the opposing 4 out to the 3 line, but again Artest is better from deep.
- Added Bonuses: Opens the championship window next year. Camp competition. Batum; Teaches him he needs to bulk up if he is going to stand a chance against the bigger 3's of the NBA. Oden; Forces his hands to become better when handling the ball in the post, when Ron-Ron is attempting to slap it out of his hands down low. Roy; Would provide him a bigger/tougher perimeter defender to compete against then we have on the roster, think of Artest as a medicine ball. Roy will be better prepared to score/defend against bigger players & when he goes against smaller players, even more domination. Has the utmost respect for Roy.