As promised previously. I really don’t see why the Clippers would seriously consider doing this. When Sacramento traded for Ron-Ron that was a risk. Trading for him at this point is a long-odds gamble I’d only want to take for a giant upside payoff. Artest, meanwhile, isn’t that much better than Maggette. He’s a worse scorer from either a volume or an efficiency perspective and a worse rebounder. Obviously, he’s a better defender but the point is just that even in the unlikely case that Artest in LA experience did work out it’s still not an unambiguous upgrade. Chris Sheridan says that Maggette “just like every other key player on the Clippers — has had a precipitous drop in production this season while waiting for another deal to go down.” But where’s the precipitous drop? If by “precipitous drop in production” Sheridan means “small reduction in playing time” I’ll agree. Maggette’s points-per-40 are down (22.6 versus 24.1) but his rebounds-per-40 are up (8.5 versus 7.1).

The Clippers’ woes this season have no particular relationship to Maggette. Other West teams have improved (often because of returns of players who were MIA with injury for most of last year), Elton Brand has returned to his previous standard of excellent basketball rather than to the extraordinary heights to which he soared last season, and Sam Cassell has been playing substantially fewer minutes.