Handicapping the Pacers Trade of Ron Artest Current Playoffs Chances

At this point the Pacers playoff hopes are definitely in jeopardy. Jermaine O'Neal and Jamal Tinsley are perennially injured. So far their season has been unimpressive with losses to some rather mediocre teams, including a 30-pt loss to the Bobcats. The road loss in Atlanta, where there's as much atmosphere as a funeral, was the final straw for Indi management.Stojakovic is a great player when he's healthy.

However, sightings of a Peja Stojakovic dunk have been rather inconspicuous lately. The Peja-Artest trade is appropiate since neither has been that efficient since 03-04. In that year Peja had the following stats: 24.

0 PPG, 48 FG-%, 43.3 3P%, 92.7 FT%, 6.3 RPG, 40.3 MPG.

Those were what made him an MVP candidate that year. As of this year Stojakovic is scoring just 16.5 PPG and shooting just 40.3%.Regardless of how well he does with Indiana doesn't matter.

What does matter is that Stojakovic is on the final year of his contract and has no intention of returning. Remember when Seattle traded Gary Payton to the Bucks for Ray Allen and Payton was on a 1-yr contract? Payton left Milwaukee. This is not the best thing for Indiana's long-term future. I was surprised that they didn't at least demand a second-round draft pick.

At the very least, the Indiana Pacers won't have to worry about Ron Artest running another season?for them anyway. The Kings play in Indiana on March 17th. Sacramento already played in Detroit, so you'll have to wait a year if you want to see Artest return to the Palace of Auburn Hills.

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By: David Pincus


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