Peja Stojakovic was one of the best shooters in the NBA during his time playing. At 6’10, defenders had trouble trying to defend his quick release shot. Stojakovic started playing professionally at the age of 15.
Playing overseas, he had the opportunity to play against men much older than him. That prepared him a lot as he got older and was ready for the NBA. He came into the league at 21 and had a lot of success.
His career with the Sacramento Kings
Stojakovic played for five different teams during his time in the NBA. The Sacramento Kings selected Stojakovic in the first round of the 1996 NBA draft. He was the No. 14 pick and was still playing overseas during the time the Kings drafted him. The Kings signed him during the 1998-99 lockout season, and he made his NBA debut at the age of 21.
In his first season with the Kings, he saw action in 48 games averaging 8.4 points and 3.0 rebounds. Stojakovic was a part of some Kings teams that had success in the playoffs. During those early 2000s, the Kings were one of the top teams in the Western Conference. Stojakovic’s game elevated as well. He was becoming a consistent shooter from behind the arc.
He had a breakout year during the 2000-01 season. That season he averaged 18.9 points per game, which was a big leap from his rookie season. The three-time NBA All-Star won the 3-Point contest back-to-back in 2002 and 2003. When he won the competition in 2002, he became the first European-born player to win an All-Star Weekend competition. He was also named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2004, and that same year, he led the NBA in three-point field goals made. That season he averaged 24.2 points per game, which was the most in his career.
The Kings made it to the playoffs each year that Stojakovic was a member of the team. In 2002 they reached the Western Conference Finals and ended up losing to the Los Angeles Lakers who went on to win the NBA championship. That roster for the Kings was stacked. Mike Bibby, Doug Christie, and Chris Webber were all a part of that team as well as Stojakovic. That team had a good bench as well, and if they had beat the Lakers, they would have had a good chance to win the title.
Career after Sacramento
After spending eight years in Sacramento spent one season playing for the Indiana Pacers and then played for the New Orleans Hornets for five seasons. He finished his career playing with the Toronto Raptors and the Dallas Mavericks.
Stojakovic would end his career as a winner. He was a part of the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks team that defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA finals. During the playoffs, he played a reserved role off the bench averaging 7.1 points. As a member of the Kings, Stojakovic was close to making a finals appearance but never did. As a member of the Mavericks, he gets that opportunity and comes out as a champion—no better way to end your career.
What is Peja Stojakovic doing now?
After spending 13 seasons in the NBA, Stojakovic is still involved in the game of basketball. In August of 2015, he was appointed director of player personnel and development for the Kings. Three years later, he was announced as Assistant General Manager. He is currently serving as General Manager for the Stockton Kings, the Kings’ NBA G League affiliate.
Stojakovic ended up back with the team that drafted him after his playing career was over. He spent the majority of his career playing for the Kings, and that was his home. He is currently No. 20 on the all-time 3-pointers made list at 1,760 made.