Coach votes for Sasha Pavlovic to stay

DALLAS -- The Mavericks will have to make a decision on whether to keep Sasha Pavlovic after tonight's game.

His second 1o-day contract expires tonight. The Mavs can either sign him for the rest of the season or let him go.

"I'm starting him," coach Rick Carlisle said, "so I think that pretty much says what I think."

However, Carlisle said the decision would be made by owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson. Carlisle also acknowledged that Pavlovic's performance -- he's averaging 5.6 points in 18 minutes while starting the last five games, four of which the Mavs have won -- isn't the only factor in the decision.

With Peja Stojakovic on the roster and soon to make his Dallas debut, the Mavs have a solid option as a starting small forward without removing Shawn Marion from his reserve role. It's possible that the Mavs' brass could decide that it's more important to have an open roster spot than the guy who has started the last five games at small forward.