Mavs C Ajinca sent back to hotel amid trade talk
The Dallas Mavericks sent center Alexis Ajinca back to the
team’s hotel on Thursday as a possible prelude to a trade that
would enable them to sign veteran forward Peja Stojakovic.
Speaking before the Mavericks’ game against the Bulls, Dallas
head coach Rick Carlisle said, ”All I can say this point is that
Peja Stojakovic has been waived. We’re one of many teams that has
interest in him, so we’ll see what happens with that.
”Ajinca is not here tonight because he’s inactive. We’ve sent
him to the hotel because there is a possibility that he will be
traded. … Nothing has happened yet and I’m not sure anything is
going to happen tonight.”
Stojakovic agreed to a buyout of his contract with the Toronto
Raptors on Wednesday, making him a free agent.
”With Stojakovic, you’re talking about one of the great
shooters,” Carlisle said. ”There are a lot of teams that are
going to be interested.”
Dallas has been searching for help at the small forward position
since starter Caron Butler went down with a season-ending knee
injury on Jan. 1. Butler was averaging 15 points and 30 minutes per
Ajinca, a third-year player out of France, has averaged 2.9
points and 1.7 rebounds over 10 games with Dallas. Since the
Mavericks are carrying the league maximum of 15 players on the
roster, they would need to open a roster spot to make room for
Stojakovic, a 12-year veteran, averaged 8.1 points in eight
games this season with Toronto and New Orleans and is shooting 48.4
percent from 3-point range.