The Houston Chronicle is reporting the trade.
The online Chronicle Article I posted is different from the hard copy I have in front of me, written by the same reporter, Jonathan Feigin. Here are some interesting points:
1. Although not the Rocket's first choice, they were attracted to Ariza because of his "first rate" defense. Sound familiar?
2. That explains why Houston wanted Ariza. What I can't understand is why Ariza was willing to leave the Lakers. Money? Not according to Feigin: The deal Ariza took was less than he was offered by the Lakers.
Ariza told the Lakers and other teams it wasn't going to be about the money, but that's what people say. He apparently meant it, however, one source estimates he left $9 million on the table to join the Rockets.
So, what was it about? Ariza is joining a team with a hole at center. Recent reports here are that Yao's injury may end his career.
3. The article describes an extremely talented Artest whose inconsistency and instability made him expendable. That said, he was on his best behavior in Houston -- but even that did not appear good enough for the Rockets. Apparently, the straw that pushed the balance toward not resigning Artest was the fact that he constantly yelled at the Rocket's young guards -- even when asked not to -- and the Rockets will be a young team next year. And, it makes clear that he is not a thug but, rather " ... a thoughtful man with a charitable heart and a winning smile."
I can understand why Artest would jump at the Laker's offer.
But, I cannot understand why Ariza would open the door by refusing it. But, hey, I live in Houston where it's been over 100 and humid for a month. I'm not sure why anyone lives here.