Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It might be a great thing for Ron Artest, to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers and play for the defending NBA champions and coach Phil Jackson, but from a fantasy point of you, Artest's value will almost certainly take a hit.
In Houston, Artest was the team's slasher, taking the ball to the hoop and creating offense. He also put up 5.6 three-point shots-per-game. There was the inside game of Yao Ming and the outside game of oft-injured Tracy McGrady, but Artest definitely had a huge role in the offense.
That won't be the story in Los Angeles.
Obviously, Kobe Bryant is, and will be, the team's first option. Pau Gasol is the team's second option, but with Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum inside and Derek Fisher and Sasha Vujacic on the outside, just where will Artest get enough shots to be fantasy relevant?
Trevor Ariza apparently has taken his 596 shots to Houston, but will Artest be satisfied with seven shots-a-game?
That's never been an acceptable level in the past for the volatile personality who has hoisted an average of 13.6 shots-per-game over his 10-year career and 1,999 shots over the past two seasons with the Rockets.
Artest will be good for the Lakers defensively, as he has more skills at that end of the floor than Ariza, but that's assuming he's willing to sacrifice his own game for "the good of the team." And even if he does sacrifice his game for the team, his fantasy value will likely drop to borderline "fantasy-worthy" because of the lack of activity at the offensive end.
I wouldn't plan on drafting Artest before the final few rounds of this year's drafts. That's too bad too, because Artest has always been a boxscore filler. Now, he's likely to be an "Andrei Kirilenko-type" fantasy player - filling a boxscore, but with limited minutes and therefore limited value.
Ron Artest Career Statistics