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Ron Artest traded to Sacremento Kings...


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Indiana Pacers have agreed to trade Ron Artest to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Peja Stojakovic pending league approval, ESPN's Jim Gray has confirmed Tuesday.

The deal closes a chapter in the Pacers' latest drama involving the volatile star forward.

Kings owners Gavin and Joe Maloof on ESPNEWS would not comment directly on ESPN's report that the Kings pending league approval will trade Peja Stojakovic to the Pacers for Ron Artest.

Artest was a key component to a team that was expected to challenge for the Eastern Conference crown. He led the league in steals and was the Pacers' second-leading scorer at 19.4 points a game before being deactivated after publicly requesting a trade in early December.

In five years with the Pacers, Artest was an All-Star once and was the NBA's defensive player of the year in 2003-04.

Pacers GM Larry Bird said the Pacers had been interested in

Corey Maggette of the Los Angeles Clippers, but there was "no question" that Maggette's sprained left foot affected the process. Maggette averaged 21.7 points in 13 games before getting injured in early December.

The Pacers have lost four of their last five games, including Monday to the

Atlanta Hawks, who have the NBA's worst record.

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Well considering that Peja is now a shell of himself (and has been for the last 2 years) - Artest misbehaving might just make the deal even.

There has to be more to this deal though - I am sure the Kings gave up picks and/or players as well as Peja for Artest.

I wouldn't be so sure. The Pacers had no leverage in this deal. In fact it seemed they were having trouble getting an offer for a player of Artests' caliber in exchange.

Specifically, the Pacers were talking to the Clippers and Warriors for guys like Corey Maggette, Troy Murphy, and Mike Dunleavy. Not exactly world beaters there.

And I don't disagree about Peja. He is a shell of himself. However, if Artest acts up Sacramento will be left holding an empty bag whereas Indiana will still have something......

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