Without a doubt, we could have done much worse and it even threatened to look that way when the trade nearly collapsed.
I still shiver to think that LA might have gotten away with getting Ron for George, though I feel that DW and LB would have swallowed pride and buried Ronnie on the IL for the season.
In general I am happy with the outcome, not exstatic, but how can you be; losing a player with the ability of Ron.
Happy because I believe that Peja will work out to be a lot better then some or even most of you think.
Why do I think that?
1. Peja had a "run-in" with the Kings' ownership during the summer over letting go his pal.
2. Peja did not have the strong support of the team and his number of shots were dwindling for various reasons, one being that the passing skills on the team were not there.
3. Peja played (imo) with that attitude and was injured due to that attitude, once you are "less then happy" in your job, results will go down and any common cold will be a two week bed ride.
4. If anything, after the loss of CWeb, and Vlad, Peja was not getting the ball where he's best with it
5. He will be a lot closer to Chicago, near enough to visit when he wants, without having to move there.
6. The Pacers are far mroe a team "fit" for him then the Kings, at this moment in time, we have the passers, nad we are lacking what Reggie brought, albeit from the 2.
7. it allow Jax to play in the position he is simple better, the 2; it where his strength lies, and whenever he played there this season the results were positive.
8. it allows for danny to play with less pressure on him
9. He will draw some attention that will allow JO more space
10. It will take the "scoring-pressure" of Jamal, and another target for his passes.
11. Saras will have some he can relay to on his own level i.e. a player with a similar background
In my opinion all of this and then some, will lead to a drastic improvement for the Pacers. Sure it will take time, certainl with JO out till the AS break, but nonetheless Peja will add a number of things this team needed.
Whether it is the "closure" on the Artest book, whether it is being a calm and good teammate, beit an upstanding citizen, beit a new "Reggie".
Peja's idol was Larry Bird, how convenient, Peja (like Reggie) is known for a good work ethic and one to shoot and shoot till someone turns of the lights.
Perhaps some of the younger players will benefit from his tuition, when it comes to shooting.
Peja thrives in being the second option, not the first and Jax is simply more valuable as 3rd at the 2 then anywhere else on the court.
We do not have a PG who "needs" shots, in fact Tins only shoots because Rick tells him to look for it, which was mainly done because with Ron out we certainly lacked the additional firepower, so perhaps he will be more in to "it" as well.
JO will have someone on the team who will be able to catch his passes, something that was sorely lacking lately.
In all I expect the team to improve very much over the next 4 weeks, though it will be a curve up and not a ready made product in two days time.
How much better? well close to that contender level we were looking for, we lost the distractions, we gained levelheaded offense, we lost defense, which we couldn't use anyway the last 20 odd games anyway, and gained a teamplayer.
If anything, I'm looking forward again to the rest of the season, something that was not the case 1 week ago.