Scottie Pippen Breaks Down the Peja-Artest Trade
This might have to be a wait and see deal because you don't know what Peja Stojakovic is going to do from a free agent standpoint after this season and Ron Artest is so unpredictable. But if you have to make a judgment on what's going on with just the trade as of today, Artest is probably a better player than Peja and Sacramento got the best of the deal. From a basketball standpoint, Artest brings more to the game than Peja.
Peja should also have a bit of a comfort level being able to play with Sarunas Jasikevicius, a former European League player himself. A lot of Euro players tend to play better together. They have a very good understanding of basketball from a standpoint of playing in a zone offense and they're already familiar playing against that type of atmosphere, a lot more than NBA players.
This is a low risk move from Indy's perspective. They're trying to make something out of this season. They're sitting at 21-19 and don't want to give up on this season. They tried to sit Ron Artest, play hardball and hopefully get another team to come and do something foolish in terms of a trade. No one really wants to gamble on Artest. You don't know what you're getting and you definitely were going to have to give up quality for him.
The change of scenery from Indiana to Sacramento could be great for Artest. Maybe he can settle down a little bit. From a team standpoint he should be very familiar with playing with Brad Miller, who was his teammate with the Pacers from 2001-2003. That should definitely be an easy fit for him. From a basketball standpoint, Artest can really play with anybody. He's a big-time player, but is he going to be that with the Kings? That is the big question mark that hangs over him, but I think that both teams are getting what they want
At the end of the day, this deal works well for Sacramento because even if Artest decides he doesn't want to be a part of what they're doing, there are some teams that will be interested in taking him for one year and getting his salary off their cap if the Kings decide to turn around and deal him.
This was a great trade for both teams. I think Peja is happier than Artest because he can go play for a contender. Look for both players to come out and play well for their new teams. There always seems to be a honeymoon effect after a trade Peja is probably going to come out and play some great games. He will settle in and see what they're running for him and how they're going to stop him. At the end of the day, it will all balance out for them when it comes down to the playoffs and what type of production the Kings are getting from Artest and what type of production Indy will get from Peja. Sacramento is currently not one of the top eight teams in the Western Conference. Artest can change that --- if he wants to.