Kings, Pacers should swap forwards

Originally Published: November 11, 2004
By Chad Ford | NBA Insider

One team is 4-1 and a contender for the Eastern Conference throne. The other is 1-4, and sinking fast in the wild, wild West.

Each has an All-Star small forward who has been an integral part of the team's success in the recent past – now it's time to trade them for each other.

Without delay, Kings GM Geoff Petrie and Pacers GM Larry Bird should pick up the phone, call each other and offer to rekindle talks of a Peja Stojakovic for Ron Artest trade.

Here's why:

* * *

In Sacramento, Stojakovic's heart is not in it. After the team let Vlade Divac go this summer and turned the leadership of the team over to Chris Webber, Stojakovic wanted to bolt.

Through his agent, David Bauman, he asked to be traded, claiming he no longer felt comfortable on the team.

Through a month of training camp and the first two weeks of the season, it has shown. The trade request rankled the Kings, who got in several shouting matches with Bauman over the course of the summer. Stojakovic's teammates weren't pleased either. But it has had an even bigger effect on Peja.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer