artest is a tough one. he's a guy who has always been the alpha dog on his teams, but on the lakers he's, at best, the third option. that can be a good thing. at this stage in his career, ron-ron has the makings of a great role player ... a guy who can play lockdown defense and hit the spot-up jumper when its available. I think for the last two years he's mostly done the first fairly consistently (well, consistently for metta world peace is a relative term). but the offensive end has never come around. it could be that the triangle was just too much for him. i have a friend who is veryclose to the team and he says that even for an athlete, artest is somewhat learning impaired. to me, this fits, as he always seemed to be wondering where he was supposed to be and second-guessing himself. it'll be interesting to see what he does under Brown, with what promises to be a much more straightforward system. i really don't see him being cut this year, not when there's walton's contract on the table. impossible as it may seem, i believe they're making relatively even money, though artest's contract is for more years. poor luke is just too damaged physically. i'm afraid his career ended before last season began.