The New Orleans Hornets have traded 13-year veteran Peja Stojakovic to the Toronto Raptors for point guard Jarrett Jack according to reports early Saturday afternoon via Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com.
The five-player deal agreed in principle would send Stojakovic and recently traded backup point guard Jerryd Bayless to the Raptors for 6-year point-man Jarrett Jack, Australian center David Anderson and NBA journeyman Marcus Banks.
According to the report the deal will need to actually be executed as two trades based on a restriction in place under league rules preventing Jerryd Bayless from being involved in a multi-player deal before December 23rd, which is two months from the date he was sent from Portland to New Orleans.
So based on that fact, Bayless has to be packaged solo for this deal to work. Therein the reasoning behind two separate trades.
In terms of Stojakovic, although he has been a tough competitor and a productive player in the NBA for 13 years now, the Hornets gladly chose to move the veteran sharp-shooting small forward who is set to make a gaudy $14.25 million in this, the last season of his current NBA contract.
Which means with Stojakovic’s hefty expiring contract and the removal of two others in Jack and Banks the Raptors will have some serious financial flexibility next season and beyond – keep in mind re-signing Chris Bosh over the summer would have added another hefty price tag to their team salary.
For Peja the basketball player, however, his production has definitely declined over the years; however he is still one of the most dangerous marksmen in the league.
Suiting up in 777 career games the 6-10, 229-pound small forward has knocked down an incredible 1,714 three-point shots in 13 NBA seasons. It’s safe to say that Toronto’s current streak of a hitting a three-pointer in every game is a pretty sure bet with the sweet-shooting Stojakovic in the building.
However, Stojakovic, now 33 years of age, was not playing much in New Orleans. With slashing forward Trevor Ariza and former Raptor Marco Belinelli garnering significant playing time, Peja appeared to be somewhat left out in Monty Williams rotation.
Much won’t change in Toronto with the emergence of young players like DeMar Derozan, Linas Kleiza and the surprising Sonny Weems; however Stojakovic’s real imprint on this young roster may be more in providing a much-needed veteran voice to this youthful bag of International talents.
If Peja can somehow remain healthy he could be a huge benefit to the Raps as his ability to stretch NBA defenses has been well documented.
At 6-10 he’s always been a tremendous mismatch out on the court and his insertion into the Raptors rotation could really help out franchise center Andrea Bargnani allowing him even more room to operate in the paint.
But let’s not forget Bayless.
Jerryd Bayless has been shopped around quite often in his young 3-year NBA career. And from watching his game it makes you wonder what teams are thinking when they bring him in.
Bayless, too many times, has been looked at as a point guard.
However, the 6-3 athletic playmaker is much more of a combo guard. Very similar to Jarrett Jack, Bayless has a score-first mentality from the point guard position.
As athletic as they come; Bayless is definitely capable of finding open looks for his teammates but is much better when just asked to put the ball in the basket. The former Arizona Wildcat has a knack for creating contact and finding his way to the basket, an underrated skill that should not go unnoticed.
In Toronto, it appears that he will be enlisted as backup point-man to Jose Calderon. However, with the speedy Leandro Barbosa frequently dealing with a plethora of nagging injuries he may find more time out on the court to do what he is better suited at doing; which is score the basketball.
For his part, during his tenure with Portland and New Orleans he’s accepted his role admirably and when given the opportunity played well. But, unfortunately for the 3-year NBA man his lack of substantial production at this point in his young career can almost completely be attributed to lack of consistent playing time.
Being a combo guard or tweener-type player will do that to you. In 138 NBA games Bayless has averaged just 15.3 minutes per contest. This season with the surging Hornets he saw action in 11 games averaging just 13.5 minutes behind All-World point guard Chris Paul.
In those 11 games he averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 assists, but only shot 35% on 4.5 shot attempts from the field.
However, in Toronto he won’t have the added pressure of backing up an All-Star. If you recall in Portland, the competitive guard backed up Brandon Roy and Andre Miller. In New Orleans it was CP3.
But in Raptor Land, he will be enlisted just behind Calderon, no offense to the fiery Spaniard, but if he goes down to injury or isn’t playing up to par look for Bayless to jump in and fill those shoes rather nicely.
With Marcus Banks being moved to the Hornets and Leandro Barbosa more of a scoring guard, the point guard position may be his for the taking depending on some of the factors listed above.
In Jack the Hornets get a legitimate backup point guard who actually started all 13 games for the Raptors as their floor general this season. Over his six NBA seasons with Portland, Indiana and Toronto the 6-3, 197-pound physical guard has started a total of 207 out of 417 possible games.
The former 22nd overall pick by the Denver Nuggets in the 2005 NBA Draft is currently averaging 10.8 points and 4.5 assists in 26.7 minutes of action per night. He has split time with point guard Jose Calderon since being moved to Toronto before the 2009-10 season, however with this move it appears that the Raptors’ brass has finally decided on who they prefer to run the show from now on.
For his part, Jack’s experience, skill and competitiveness should be a huge welcome to CP3 and the Hornets as questions surrounding a serviceable backup point-man down in the “Big Easy” should end immediately.
Jack has three years remaining on his current contract with his highest payout coming during the 2012-13 season in which he stands to make a manageable $5.58 million.
Anderson, a very skilled 6-11, 30 year-old center from Australia, should provide the Hornets with a nice pick and pop option to their relatively thin frontline. He is not a banger and actually his skill set is very similar to the role current power forward/center Jason Smith has with the Hornets’ team now.
The NBA continues to roll on this season. Keep up to date with all things NBA here on foamcage.com.
Go ahead and hit the subscribe button at the top of the page for weekly NBA news. It’s free and you won’t be hit with any unnecessary advertising or spam.
You can also follow me on Twitter at @JarrodsNBA.
As always we appreciate your readership and thank you for your support.
© 2010 Jarrod Gillis — All Rights Reserved