July 18, 2008
The Sacramento Kings have expressed interest in acquiring Dallas Mavericks forward/guard Josh Howard in a trade for All-Star forward Ron Artest, but the Mavericks aren't interested, according to an NBA source.
The Mavericks reportedly were willing to offer forward Brandon Bass and guard Jerry Stackhouse for Artest. But the Kings wanted Howard included in the deal, halting the discussions. Because the Mavericks won't budge on Howard, a potential trade for Artest is all but dead, the source said. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declined comment in an e-mail to The Dallas Morning News.
A deal for Artest would have given the Mavericks an All-Star caliber starter at every position except center and reunited Artest with head coach Rick Carlisle, who coached Artest when he played for the Indiana Pacers.
Trade rumors have swirled about Artest this summer. The Kings and Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly in talks about an Artest-for-Lamar Odom swap, but that has since fizzled. The San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns also have shown interest. Artest, 28, is one of the top defensive players in the NBA and has averaged 16 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game over his nine-year career. Artest has career playoff averages of 17.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.