Peja Stojakovic has played 21 minutes total this season, garbage time at the end of two of the Hornets six wins. Mostly, he has just been the guy with really good courtside seats to a good team.
This is the same guy brought in five years ago to help space the floor for Chris Paul and knock down big threes for a a Hornets team on the rise. There have been steps back, but this year he has watched the Hornets rise back up. And he is not a part of it. He’s basically trade bait, and he knows it, as he told the Times-Picayune.
“It’s obvious I’m not in the plans,” Stojakovic said. “I’m not looking long term. I’m looking at this year. I’m real about it. It’s just moving on with our career and lives.”
But the fact he is not in the plans is why he may get more minutes soon. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
The Hornets are undefeated because they are playing good defense and Trevor Ariza starting at the three is a big part of that. Peja and defense have rarely been mentioned together, so Ariza is in front of him.
Stojakovic’s name will come up of a lot of trade discussions as the season moves on because he is in the last year of a deal making $15.3 million. That’s a big chip that some team will want to clear cap space, and the Hornets want players that fit with what they do and can help entice Chris Paul to stay in town.
Dell Demps said nothing is currently in the works. Expect that to change.
But you can’t trade him unless you show off the merchandise a little. He’s going to get out on the court because unless teams see that he is healthy and can still spread the floor, they won’t be calling Demps.
But in the short term, don’t expect to see a lot of Stojakovic. He’s got good seats for the show, and right now the Hornets are putting on a good one. Without him.