Word out of Miami is that Pat Riley will come back as the Heat's head coach after the break.
One of the conditions in our collective conventional wisdom for any Artest-to-Miami deal was Riley back on the sidelines. No shrug meant to Ron Rothstein, but Riley just has the gravitas (that's Latin for "balls") to deal with Artest. Many coaches, we've seen, don't.
What Artest-to-Miami trades make the most sense?
- Artest for Posey and Dorrell Wright. Miami gets the wing stopper they need for a shot to repeat, Sacramento gets cap relief and a young athletic freak. Feel free to add in Ronnie Price or Jason Hart, if need be.
- Artest for Posey, straight up. This deal works, so should Geoff Petrie really want to move Artest but not want Wright, it can still happen. Saves Sacramento $7 million next season, and opens up the logjam at the wing a bit. (Free Douby!)
- Artest and Jason Hart for Jason Williams and Dorell Wright. PG + Wing for PG + Wing. This deal is one that could be done in conjunction with a separate deal moving Bibby, as the Kings don't seem to have a ready starting point guard on the roster minus Bibby if you assume John Salmons slips into the starting SF role. Hart is no worse than Payton, and Posey is still available for Miami to land a decent starting PG. Williams has the same contract as Artest, essentially. But it's a year shorter than Bibby's, and cheaper by $5 million next season. And Wright is a nice sweetener.
- Artest and Hart for Posey and Michael Doleac. This might be more palatable for the Kings than Artest-Posey straight-up, because it releases Bad Seed Hart. It does take on a bit extra salary this season with no real other benefit, though. However, Doleac could be flipped at the deadline to a team desparately in need of a body (the Lakers if Kwame Brown gets sent to NJ?).