Hornets complete sign-and-trade with Indiana to acquire Stojakovic
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – Peja Stojakovic barely had time to unpack
during his brief stay in Indiana, as the sweet-shooting guard came to the
Hornets on Wednesday along with cash considerations in exchange for the draft
rights to Andrew Betts.
“One of our top priorities this summer was to add a sharpshooting scorer who
could stretch the defense and knock down shots off of penetration,” said
Hornets general manager Jeff Bower. “We’re thrilled that we added the best
player available to fill that role.”
Set to begin his ninth NBA season, Stojakovic has compiled career averages of
18.4 points and 5.1 rebounds with a .461 field goal percentage.
“Peja coming to the Hornets is perhaps the biggest offseason acquisition in
the history of the franchise,” said Hornets owner George Shinn. “Our fans
deserve the best team possible on the floor when we start the 2006-07 season,
and we’re off to a great start this summer in making that happen.”
Stojakovic averaged 19.5 points and 6.2 rebounds after being traded to
Indiana on January 25th of last season. He only played in two playoff contests
because of a nagging right knee ailment.
Indiana now has nothing to show for shipping the volatile Ron Artest out of
town. Artest flourished in Sacramento, leading the Kings to the playoffs and
helping the club push the San Antonio Spurs to six games in the first round of
the Western Conference playoffs.
“This was an opportunity for the Pacers to benefit from Peja’s signing with
the Hornets by doing a sign and trade,” said Pacers CEO and president Donnie
Walsh. “We acquire a $7.5 million trade exception that will be very beneficial
in any trades that come up in the next year.”
Betts was drafted by the Hornets with the 50th overall pick in the 1998 NBA
Draft, but has never appeared in a regular season game.