Tuesday , Jan , 24 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Artest-Stojakovic trade now off

=== Artest-Stojakovic trade now off ===

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – A trade involving Indiana Pacers troublesome
forward Ron Artest and Sacramento Kings sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic has been
reportedly called off by the Kings after Artest told the team he did not want
to go there.

The Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday that the teams had agreed to swap the
two All-Stars and the deal was awaiting approval from the NBA.

However, according to the Sacramento Bee, Artest’s agent Mark Stevens called
Sacramento president Geoff Petrie shortly after word got out about the
impending trade, and told him his client did not want to play for the Kings.
Petrie backed out of the deal as a result of the conversation.

Stojakovic was activated by the Kings for Tuesday’s game at Philadelphia.

Artest played in just 16 games for Indiana this season, averaging 19.4 points
and 4.9 rebounds per contest before being placed permanently on the inactive
list in early December. Artest battled a wrist injury early in the season, but
sealed his own fate after an interview with an Indianapolis newspaper during
the weekend of December 10-11, in which he blasted the organization and
requested a trade.

The 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Artest made headlines last
season when he charged into the crowd after fans after getting hit with
debris during a game against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace.
Commissioner David Stern showed no mercy, as he suspended Artest for the
final 73 games of the season.

The 6-foot-7 forward has averaged 14.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in seven
seasons with the Chicago Bulls and Pacers. Artest was a first-round pick of
the Bulls in 1999 and was traded along with Ron Mercer, Brad Miller and Kevin
Ollie to Indiana for three players, including Jalen Rose, and a second-round
draft pick in February 2002.

Stojakovic is averaging just 16.5 points per game this season, his lowest
scoring output since the 1999-2000 campaign. The three-time All-Star is
shooting just 40 percent from the floor and has been slowed by various

The 6-foot-10 guard has spent his entire eight-year career in Sacramento,
becoming a staple of the franchise during its current seven-year playoff run.
Stojakovic has averaged 18.3 points and five rebounds a game in his NBA