NBA trade analysis of Artest, Stojakovic Deal
After over a month of waiting, the Indiana Pacers finally shipped Ron Artest away, getting former all-star sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic from the Sacramento Kings in return.
Indiana gets rid of a major headache and adds a former all-star gunner who is struggling this season.
In the Kings' case, they flat out stink right now. They have continued to slack on defense, and are sleepwalking through offensive sets that, with Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, they used to execute to precision with a lot more energy and passion.
The Kings themselves had become bored with the team, the system and the game itself. Bringing in Ron Ron certainly livens things up, and this team needs that.
And considering the Kings were probably going to lose Stojakovic after this year, due to salary cap and personal issues, it was wise that Geoff Pietrie got rid of him when he could, and get something of all-star status in return. Not making this trade would have probably meant that the Kings would've lost an all-star talent for nothing. The risk of taking on Artest is worth it.
On the floor for Sacramento, it can only have a positive impact. Stojakovic was seemingly playing on a day to day basis, and sat out whenever he felt like it. He wasn't happy, and every nagging injury kept him off the floor.
The Kings couldn't count on Peja to be out there, so moving him takes that question off the burner.
Artest brings Sacramento the passion that they have been lacking all year, as whenever Artest plays, he gives his full energy.
He will also give them a defensive presence that they haven't had since trading Doug Christie to Orlando about a year ago. He will be the guy to lock down the opponent's best scorer, and will be glad to take on the toughest assignment every night.
Finally, Artest gives the Kings a go-to guy who wants to play in the mid-post and can score in isolation sets. Mike Bibby is a very good point guard, but he shouldn't have to try to carry the entire offensive load by himself. Artest gives him a good option in the mid-post, where Artest is at his best.
If Ron flips again, the Kings will be right back where they were, maybe with a little more energy, without worrying about whether to keep Peja.
For the Pacers and Stojakovic, it could be great fit. Stojakovic doesn't have to be the center of the offense, instead Jermaine O'Neal can cause the defense to lean away, giving Peja the opportunity to spot up, and knock down perimeter shots, his bread and butter.
Stojakovic is one of those players who is most efficient when he isn't the main focus of the offense, hitting shots other players create for him. With O'Neal and Stephen Jackson on the floor, Peja can rotate and square up more, and will need to do less on the ball.
Fred Jones, Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley and Sarunas Jasikevicius have been hoisting more three pointers than they're comfortable with, trying to make up for the loss of Reggie Miller. Peja will allow them -- especially Jackson -- to once again be more of a slasher and play the mid-range game that he is much better and more efficient with, and leave the three point load to Peja, one of the best at that in the game.
The trade is a solid gamble for both teams.
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