Peja Stojakovic is small piece, not savior

January, 21, 2011
1/21/11
8:54
AM CT
Peja Stojakovic is a recognizable name, but he’s not a major addition for the Mavericks.

His days as a three-time All-Star are distant memories. He’s not a guy who can fill the void left by Caron Butler’s absence. His arrival doesn’t mean the Mavs should stop aggressively exploring the trade market.

Stojakovic could, however, be a quality role player for the Mavs if he can get healthy. It’d just be a limited role. He’s a 6-foot-10 catch-and-shoot specialist at this point of his career. That’s worth the minimal investment (getting rid of Alexis Ajinca) the Mavs are making to get him following his buyout from the Raptors, as reported by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

Rick Carlisle will need to carefully pick his spots to play Peja due to his defensive deficiencies. But he’s a guy who is certainly capable of spacing the floor, forcing opponents to respect the threat on the opposite side of the floor from Dirk Nowitzki. He’s a career 40-percent 3-point shooter. He shot 37.5 and 37.8 percent from long range the last two seasons as a starter for the Hornets, playing much heavier minutes than he should have.

Maybe Stojakovic starts for the Mavs. Stranger things have happened, such as plugging in a guy on a 10-day contract as the starting small forward, which is what Carlisle has done with Sasha Pavlovic the last two games. But this isn’t the move that will put the Mavs over the top. But it is a roster upgrade.

Look at it this way: Would you rather have Peja, Steve Novak or Ajinca as the Mavs’ option as a tall shooting specialist?

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
19.1 4.2 1.9 33.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.4
AssistsR. Rondo 6.4
StealsM. Ellis 1.9
BlocksT. Chandler 1.2