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Quick Change of Heart For Ron-Ron

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There's nothing quite like a bit of Ron Artest drama to help get the summer rolling.

On Monday, Artest exercised his option to stay with the Kings next season.

On Tuesday, he wished he hadn't.

As reported by ESPN's Marc Stein:

Artest told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he wishes now he had opted for unrestricted free agency, like Brand and Davis, instead of electing to play out the final year of his contract with the Kings next season at $7.4 million.

Artest also conceded that his long-term future is likely not in Sacramento, saying via e-mail: "I don't see myself with [the] Kings beyond 2008-09." 

"I think I made the biggest mistake by staying in my contract and I have to live with it," Artest said. "I had some misleading information [in making the] decision on not opting out. [But] I still thank God for all his blessings and being able to play basketball and help people."

Stein also reports that Artest may have been expecting to receive a long-term contract offer from the Kings, which likely isn't going to happen, and thus he is now ready to play his season and get out.

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I can't help but be amused by Ron-Ron's fickle nature.  He's certainly one of the more -- how to put this -- compelling characters the league has seen in some time, and he is constantly finding new ways to make waves on and off the court.

In the meantime, as an expiring contract this year, Artest may get his wish and be shipped out of town early.  His joining a contender could be scary -- either for the rest of the league...or said contender.