Jan 21, 2011, 8:41 PM EST
It was enough to raise some eyebrows.
The Toronto Raptors buy out Peja Stojakovic (who technically has to go on waivers but nobody wants to pay him the rest of his $15 million, so he’ll clear). Then he is a free agent and already has a verbal commitment to go to Dallas. However, Dallas has to clear out a roster spot so in a separate action are trading third year center Alexis Ajinca to Toronto.
For Dallas and Toronto to have set that all up as a quid pro quo deal would violate NBA rules.
Everyone expects this trade will be approved soon. To suspect such a violation and to prove it are two very different things.
Ajinca, who is from France, has all the physical skills to play in the NBA but is still figuring out the game on the mental side. At Summer League last year he was a mix of physically impressive plays and mental mistakes. Due to injuries he got to start a couple games for the Mavs?
The Mavericks are in it to win it, they don’t have time for a raw youngster to learn on the job. The Raptors have room to let him learn. This might be a good fit. Maybe better than Peja in Dallas, but that’s another discussion.
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