Clippers Lakers BasketballL.A. Times: It will be debated and discussed for the next five years. Did the Lakers do the right thing in essentially trading up-and-comer Trevor Ariza for already-there Ron Artest?

An unforgettable July afternoon turned into the busiest of the summer for the Lakers after they agreed to terms with Artest on a five-year, $34-million free-agent contract. Ariza then accepted Houston’s identical offer almost immediately after hearing that Artest had been snapped up by the Lakers.

Time will be the final judge, as always, though one Western Conference coach is already offering an intriguing analysis.

“I think it was a ‘volatility’ trade,” Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said. “I think Ariza was a flat line that was very positive for them. I think Artest has the ability to raise above that line, significantly. If Kobe Bryant went down during the year, Artest has the ability to carry a team more than Ariza would have the ability to carry a team. So it’s positive from that regard.

“[Artest] gives you more obviously, but there is the question — he has had a past of some indiscretions. I don’t think it’s probably going to be an issue for them. Everything I’ve read, his mind-set seems to be pretty good.”

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