CHICAGO -- Adding Peja Stojakovic and subtracting Alexis Ajinca is a no-brainer move for the Dallas Mavericks, a club that doesn't need a fourth, albeit affable, center and desperately needs another proven weak-side shooter to fill the void left by the injured Caron Butler.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein has reported that Stojakovic has given the Mavs a verbal agreement to join them once he clears the 48-hour waiver period. To make room for him on the 15-man roster, Dallas, in a separate trade, is shipping Ajinca, a throw-in last offseason in the Erick Dampier-Tyson Chandler deal, to Toronto.
The only question is how much Stojakovic has got left. At 33, Stojakovic's All-Star days are well behind him and injuries are an ongoing issue. This was not a blockbuster deal but rather a small, but heady move to get a sharpshooter that can dial it in on any given night. He's dealing with a knee problem now that's kept him on the bench for all but two games in Toronto after being traded there from New Orleans in a salary dump.
If Stojakovic can get on the floor and stay there he is one of the great pure shooters in the league and provides the Mavs with an additional spot-up threat on the wing. He's played in just eight games this season -- six with New Orleans two with Toronto -- so it's questionable as to what kind of immediate help he can offer. Still, in his limited time, he's made 48.4 percent of his 3-balls (15-of-31).
The signing certainly can't hurt. After all, this a team that is now starting 10-day contract player Sasha Pavlovic at small forward so Shawn Marion can come off the bench where he's been extremely effective as a scorer and defender.
The 7-foot-1 Ajinca might one day amount to a role player in this league, but he offers next-to-nothing for a veteran team like Dallas with championship aspirations. He'll get some developmental time at rebuilding Toronto, while Stojakovic, knees allowing, can provide spurts of instant offense like he did on Nov. 15 when he hit 4-of-6 from the arc and scored 17 points in 19 minutes -- against the Mavs.