Report: Artest set to sign with Lakers

July 2, 2009

Ron Artest has decided to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, the free agent forward told CBSsports.com in a text message.

Artest said in the message he was in Los Angeles to complete a deal with the Lakers and he did not care about the money.

The Los Angeles Times reported the Lakers could pay Artest as much as $32 million over five seasons, which would actually be a pay cut. He made $7.4 million last season with the Houston Rockets.

League rules prevent a free-agent deal from being officially announced until July 8.

With Artest on the court, the Rockets reached the Western Conference semifinals last season for the first time since the 1996-97 campaign. He previously played three seasons with Sacramento.

In a 12-year career with four teams, Artest has scored an average of 16.1 points per game.

Artest could replace Trevor Ariza on the Los Angeles roster. The Los Angeles Times –which reported Thursday that Ariza was unhappy with the Lakers offered — said the free agent forward had been offered a deal by the Rockets.

Source: upi

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