The New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors agreed in principle to a five-player trade on Saturday that will send Peja Stojakovic to Toronto in exchange for guard Jarrett Jack, a person familiar with the trade said.
The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade was not yet official, said New Orleans also will receive center David Andersen and guard Marcus Banks, while guard Jarryd Bayless, acquired by New Orleans from Portland less than a month ago, will go to Toronto.
New Orleans, which missed the playoffs last season, is off to a 10-1 start with three-time All-Star Chris Paul healthy and playing well. Yet the surprisingly strong start wasn’t bound to dissuade general manager Dell Demps from making moves aimed at finding the depth to keep the Hornets’ point guard as fresh as possible throughout the season.
Stojakovic entered the season saying he understood he could be traded because of his expiring $15.3 million contract.
His odds of being shipped out only rose when he lost his starting job this season to Marco Belinelli, who was acquired in an offseason trade and is currently New Orleans’ third-leading scorer, averaging 12.7 points.
Stojakovic, 33, was inactive for several games earlier this season but has seen more action in the past week. He has played in six of the Hornets’ 11 games, averaging 7.5 points.
Known for his accurate shooting from behind the 3-point line, Stojakovic has averaged 17.3 during his 12-year career. Returning from back surgery in 2007-08, he was a key contributor when the Hornets won a franchise-record 56 games, earned their first division title and came within a game of advancing to the Western Conference finals.
However, he has been injured more frequently the past two seasons, raising concerns about his durability as he moves toward the twilight of his career.
The 27-year-old Jack has started 13 games for the Raptors this season, 10.8 points, 4.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 27 minutes per game. At 6-foot-3, he is a combination guard who could back up Paul at the point and also play shooting guard.
His contract runs through the 2012-13 season and pays him more than $5 million each of the next two seasons.
The Hornets hoped Bayless, a former first-round draft choice, would emerge as Paul’s primary backup. His play was sporadic, however. He has averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 assists in 13.5 minutes, with his best performance coming against the Los Angeles Clippers when he had 15 points and nine assists.
Andersen, a 6-11 Australian, has averaged 5.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game with Toronto.
Banks has had trouble cracking the regular rotation in Toronto, getting into only three games and averaging two points.