One thing I’d be curious about with the Ariza/Artest swap is if Ariza can remain as productive when not playing with Kobe and Gasol or players of their caliber. I recall from the playoff run that Ariza had a lot of open threes. I mean it seemed like thats all he was shooting.
So he was very productive but I don’t know if he was doing it with defenses focusing on him or he was getting opportunities because he was playing alongside greatness.
And Artest is definitely older and will not be playing as well or efficiently. But on the Lakers he won’t be the focal point of the offense so depending on how he adjusts his efficiency will either go up (taking advantage of Kobe and Gasol) or decrease if he tries to maintain his previous levels and jacks up shots when he does touch to ball to make up for his decreased touches in general.
All this reminds me of what I read on Forum Blue and Gold, a Lakers blog, which talked about how a lot of players saw their PER increase when playing alongside Kobe. And that is in part because Kobe pushes everyone so much and also in part because his success in one-on-one situations leads him to be double teamed which leads to opportunities for his teammates that are easier to deal with.
Logically it is easier to deal with a defender who is rotating to you on transition and may be out of position (i.e. SG guarding a SF) than one's assigned defender who is locked in and waiting for you to get the ball.
I also read a great but complicated post about three point shooting efficiency, controlled for different positions, corner three versus long three percentage, and age of player.
And the peak shooting age is 29 years old and shooting the corner three. Corner threes are made 10% of the time more than top of the key threes. Interesting information. So I still have four years left till my peak!