So Ron Artest is on the block again. And if I recall correctly, the Heat wanted Artest last time he was on the block.
So does that mean they want him again?
I'll play GM for a second (or team president, or whatever) and give my opinion on both the Heat and Kings side.
From the Heat's perspective, I would say Artest is not a great fit with what the Heat has right now. First, I think as is, this Heat team will actually be better than last year's team at season's end, assuming health, because of the emergence of Jason Kapono and Dorell Wright, who provide a consistent shooting and dynamic athleticism that last year's team lacked. So bringing in an Artest, who you would have to assume would require the Heat giving up Wright, I think would be a mistake. Artest mistakenly thinks he's the best offensive player in almost any game he plays, so he'll try to do more than any wing player should when playing alongside Dwyane and Shaq. Also, the Heat has proven that a lock-down defender like Artest isn't necessary when the team is playing good defense as a unit. That may not happen as often as Riley wants it to, but it does happen when the team is playing at full strength.
On the Kings side, the Heat doesn't have much to offer than the Kings value, which is shooting, passing and athleticism. James Posey has an expiring contract, but the Kings have a couple healthy expiring contracts already in Corliss Williamson and Vitaly Potapenko. Plus, the Kings aren't exactly a frugal and patient franchise just looking to save a dime and look to the future. They want to make splash ASAP. The Kings have already done the Jason Williams thing, so that's out, and so is Antoine Walker. Udonis Haslem isn't their kind of player, plus they already have Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Thomas. So it would probably have to be Posey and Wright for Artest. If I'm the Kings, Wright sounds good, and has the athleticism they like, and he's younger and a better locker room citizen than Corey Maggette, who has been rumored to be going to Sacramento for Artest.
Here's the another option, though. The Kings can look to move Mike Bibby instead of Artest, taking the more expensive of the supposedly quarrelling teammates off their hands. Bibby has three years and about $41 million left on his deal, with $12.5 due this season. A combination of Posey, Wright and Michael Doleac brings the Heat close enough to make the deal work financially. From the Heat's perspective, they get a point guard tandem of Bibby and Williams to join Wade and Kapono for an excellent backcourt rotation. But they lose Wright, who is a large part of the future, which for Riley isn't huge because he's always in "win now" mode.
The Kings would get Wright, drop a huge salary and have no contracts that go past next season.
Personally, I would consider this a tough decision, because Wright can be very good, but Bibby is still young enough (28) to be a quality point guard for the remainder of Shaq's contract, while Williams is only under contract through next season. It's a toss-up, really.
To sum up: no on Artest, maybe on Bibby.