I don't know how much credible this info is, but it definitelly is interesting:
Three Things To Know About The Artest Deal…
The Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers triggered a deal yesterday that sent Peja Stojakovic to the Pacers in exchange for the troublesome but talented Ron Artest. The deal had it issues along the way, and several incarnations of this deal took place before it became official. Here are some of the behind the scenes actions that made this deal happen…
#1 – IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN BONZI: A well placed Kings source explained that the original offer was Bonzi Wells, and that was interesting to the Pacers if it included Francisco Garcia or Kevin Martin. Bonzi got hurt and the deal got scrapped. When the Pacers started looking at the Clippers offer of Corey Maggette, the injury concerns about whether or not Corey needs a screw inserted in his foot, brought the Kings back to the table with a Peja deal… The Pacers made a push to get more than just Peja, and the Kings were about to toss in a 2nd player, when news of the deal leaked, and Ron Artest’s agent threw water on the deal.
#2 – THE PACERS APPLIED THE PRESSURE: After news of the trade broke and Artest’s agent made the statement that Ron did not want to be a King, the Pacers called a face to face meeting with Ron, his agent and Player’s Union chief Billy Hunter. The Pacers made it abundantly clear to Ron they were prepared to suspend him without pay for the balance of the season if Ron did not become more cooperative with the process. He was urged to have a call with Maloofs, at which time all of Ron’s concerns were put to rest, and all of the Maloof’s concerns were also put to rest, and the deal moved forward. The Pacers refuse to discuss the tone of the meeting, but a Pacer’s source say Ron was explained where he stood legally and what the Pacers were prepared to do.
#3 – THE FUTURE: Peja is a short term tryout… The Pacers are not sold that Peja will stay beyond the season, but see him as a good fit to spread the floor – if his shot starts falling. The Pacers did try and extract an additional player from the Kings – word is it was Francisco Garcia, the Pacers coveted, but ultimately Ron’s outburst saved the Kings a player, and cost the Pacers a promising young guy. The Kings view Ron as exactly what they are missing… toughness and defense. Mike Bibby was said to be sad to see his good friend Peja Stojakovic go, but was said to be thrilled to get a talent like Ron in return. Kings players publicly say they are looking forward to Ron joining the team, and Ron should be a fan favorite in ARCO Arena.
Peja Stojakovic may not join the Pacers for several days as he was given permission to get his affairs in order. Ron Artest is expected to meet the Kings in Boston and may be in uniform for the Kings in Boston, although Kings sources say he will not play until he has a few practices in, and the team can see what kind of shape he is in.