Ron Artest, small forward:
Sometime around the middle of the season, he began to grasp the concepts of the Lakers’ triangle offense and actually looked comfortable. His adjustment to the role of a supporting cast member remains a work in progress, however. The Lakers needed him to play lock-down defense more than anything, though, and he delivered. The next steps he takes could depend a great deal on the selection of the Lakers’ next coach. He played exceptionally well for Rick Adelman in Houston, for instance. He didn’t seem to mesh well with Phil Jackson, whose barbs got under his skin. The best might still be ahead of him, as far as adapting to his role and playing it with greater efficiency.
Stats: 82 games, 8.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists
Next: Matt Barnes.