…and perhaps it is far to say Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh didn’t get nearly enough for one of the NBA’s best players? From the Indiapolis Star’s Mike Wells.
Peja Stojakovic (above), who was acquired from Sacramento for Ron Artest in January, agreed to a five-year, $64 million deal with the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday. Stojakovic can’t sign his new deal until July 12.
The Pacers could have offered more years — six — than other teams, but Stojakovic’s agent, David Bauman, said Indiana officials didn’t make a good offer. Bauman declined comment on what the Pacers offered. Pacers officials cannot comment until the moratorium ends July 12.
“I think it’s safe to say we were extremely surprised based on the level of interest (in) Peja . . . and that they traded Peja for Ron Artest,” Bauman said. “I will frankly say I was very surprised at where the Pacers came from.”
The Chicago Tribune’s Marlen Garcia details the Bulls’ recent sitdown with Ben Wallace.
John Paxson declined to comment on the meeting with the 6-foot-9-inch, 240-pound defensive ace, who was expected to be the Bulls’ top target as they decide how to spend about $15 million they have available under the NBA’s salary cap.
The attempt may be in vain unless the Bulls are willing to give Wallace a five-year deal, and there is good reason for the Bulls to avoid such an offer.
Teams could be reluctant to give Wallace a contract longer than four years because of the league’s “over-36” rule, which stipulates that salary payable after a player turns 36 is prorated over the previous seasons and counts against the salary cap in those seasons. Wallace will be 32 on Sept. 10 and a four-year deal would expire just before his 36th birthday.
There was a flurry of signings in the Western Conference yesterday, Jason Terry and Sam Cassell staying put with the Mavs and Clippers respectively, Tim Thomas joining Sam I Am with the Clips, and Vladimir Radmanovic crossing the corridor at Staples Center to sign with the Lakers.