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

game.

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.

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.