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Keep Artest?

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I've been surprised at some of the sentiment -- not the 'blow it up' sentiment, which has hung in the Sactown air for about four years now. Of course that sentiment is present when the team's best offensive weapon goes down for possibly two months while the team's three games under .500. The sentiment which has surprised me by sheer presence: The Kings should re-sign Ron Artest this summer.

I'd never considered the possibility after last season. But hey, his nose has been clean since last spring. And it's not like he isn't one of the top players in the league -- the #7 small forward in the league and a better defender than all above him in the PER rankings.

It's certainly a tricky question, made trickier by how well he's played in the Beno Udrih offense. (The Udrih/Martin/Artest/Moore/Miller unit is basically break-even according to basketballvalue.com. Line-ups without Artest and/or Udrih are not good, expect for the surprising Douby/Martin/Salmons/Moore/Miller line, which has performed very well in 28 minutes of time, most of which came against the Spurs and Sonics. I digress.)

The argument you have to decide on, in the end: Do you trust this season? Or do you trust the last two [demanding a trade from the Pacers, the dog abuse thing, the spousal abuse thing, the 'retirement' thing]? We'll know more as we get closer to June; I, however, can't imagine taking that sort of risk on another five years of uncertainty. He makes you a better team, yes. But he's already destroyed one franchise. I don't want the Kings to be next.