Ron Artest Wants Trade From Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Ron Artest is entertaining, a little odd, and partially insane, but his level of defensive play was instrumental in the championship run last year and eventual defeat of the Boston Celtics.

Now that the Lakers are stumbling, news has surfaced that Ron Artest wants out of L.A.

It’s odd that an organization looking for its third championship in as many years is willing to go public and let everyone know it is looking for a trade to improve, but that is what GM Mitch Kupchak has done.

One source close to the situation insists that Ron Artest wants out but when asked for a comment, Artest’s agent, David Bauman, declined.

ESPN‘s Marc Stein reports, “I’ve nonetheless been assured this week that Artest— though he hasn’t outright demanded a trade and is likely to publicly deny it—is serious about wanting to be dealt somewhere 'he can have fun again' less than a year removed from the pivotal role he played in that ring-clinching Game 7 with Boston that the Lakers so nearly squandered.”

In December, Artest asked his coach Phil Jackson to stop criticizing him so publicly and asked to keep things in-house. Artest continues to be on the bench during crunch time.

The 31-year-old is producing career-low numbers, and it’s hard to imagine there is much of a market for a player with his type of baggage who isn’t producing.

Twenty-two days remain before the February trade deadline and all odds are, with the addition of Matt Barnes, the Lakers are feeling more confident about their defense without Ron Artest. But the underlying issues of the Lakers should not be put on Artest’s shoulders.

If the Lakers do trade Ron Artest, at least we won’t have to listen to him thanking his therapist when the Lakers win their third straight championship.

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