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Hollinger on The Trade

(Oh, and I want to make sure everyone is comfortable with me calling this The Trade. Because of who's coming in return, I seriously believe this is bigger than the Webber trade. So this is The Trade, and the Webber deal is The Webber Trade. Glad we've got that handled.)

The best argument I've heard so far comes from ESPN Insider/statgeek hero John Hollinger:

In fact, it's a pretty astounding deal if you look at it from the Sacramento side. If Artest acts like an idiot and alienates everyone, the team will have to rebuild -- but since the Kings were 17-23 without much young talent in the pipeline, they would have had to do that anyway. By adding Artest, Sacramento effectively gives itself a 30-month window to try to win something with a Bibby/Artest/Abdur-Rahim/Miller core. Given the reasonable nature of Artest's contract, this is about as risk-free as a risk can get. Even if it fails, the Kings haven't lost any ground.

That's why when it comes down to it, Sacramento got the better end of this deal. The Western team essentially waited out the Pacers to get a star-caliber talent for a player they probably were going to lose anyway. This deal involves calculated risks by both sides, and the range of possible outcomes is all over the map. But in terms of probability, you have to like the odds better from Sacramento's end than from Indiana's.

(This was obviously written yesterday; the Kings are 17-24, seven games under.)

I just want to throw that out again: Bibby/Artest/Abdur-Rahim/Miller. Those guys are all signed for two more seasons at least. It may take until next season to get it together, but as long things don't blow up, there's time for a run.

When Bonzi Wells comes back, this is going to be a scary-aggressive team. If Bonzi can't be re-signed, you still have Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia or a mid-level exception player for the starting two. I'm not feeling bad about that. At all.

For this season? Once Reef is OK to start again, I'd like to see one of the Philly pieces dealt for a serviceable back-up center. I'm not expecting a Marcus Camby or even a Chris Mihm. But something more reliable than Jamal Sampson.

All I know? It is on.