After a slight delay due to waivers and a trade snag, the Mavericks announced that they have signed Peja Stojakovic. The deal is presumably for the rest of the season, and will likely pay Stojakovic the minimum salary. In order to free up a roster spot, Dallas traded Alexis Ajinca to the Raptors, satisfying Ajinca and his agent by finding the young center an opportunity for more playing time while also snagging a veteran shooter on the cheap.
Stojakovic isn’t a great get, but he’ll help Dallas fill the scoring void left by Caron Butler’s season-ending injury. The Mavs need consistent scoring any way they can get it, and while Stojakovic isn’t ideal (he’s not exactly the stable outside threat he once was, he’s older and injury-prone, and his already poor defense has regressed further), he’s a very affordable solution to a pretty glaring problem. Playing alongside stars like Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd should open up the game for Stojakovic, but he’ll primarily be parked on the perimeter as a kick-out option for when the defense collapses a bit too far. Stojakovic is a solid get to play limited minutes, but in no way does he replace Butler. He simply offsets Butler’s injury slightly, while affording the Mavs a bit more time to evaluate any number of trade opportunities on the horizon.
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
Johnson had 12 points on the night.
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: