Ajinca's stay with Mavs might not be long

July, 15, 2010
7/15/10
7:02
AM CT
The Mavericks had no centers under contract when free agency started.

Now they have four.

Don’t be surprised, though, if the one of the new arrivals is traded again before the season starts … provided that the Mavericks can find a taker for Alexis Ajinca.

Ajinca and fellow newcomer Ian Mahinmi are represented by the same agent: Bouna Ndiaye. You’ll recall that the Mavericks came to terms in free agency with Mahinmi before they ever knew Ajinca would be a Mav, too.

It doesn’t figure to be an acrimonious situation if Ajinca hangs around, but since both Ndiaye clients are at best bidding to be Dallas’ No. 3 center behind recent re-signee/presumed starter Brendan Haywood and marquee newcomer Tyson Chandler, ESPNDallas.com has learned that the Mavericks have been asked to shop Ajinca in the hope they can find a team that might be able to offer him more hope for minutes.

Drafted No. 20 overall by Charlotte in the 2008 draft, Ajinca has played sparingly for the Bobcats in his first two NBA seasons, spending most of the 2009-10 schedule in the D-League because the 7-footer from France doesn’t have NBA bulk and is still learning to cope with the physicality of the American game.

The reality is that the Mavericks targeted Mahimni in free agency and landed Ajinca because his contract completed the salary-cap math involved in getting Chandler. So Ajinca is the one who sources say is already being made available in trade discussions.

The Mavericks can’t package Ajinca in a trade with another player for 60 days after acquiring him but can move Ajinca immediately if a trade materializes where he is the only outgoing Mav.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9