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Peja not expected to join team on road trip

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks bid farewell to Sasha Pavlovic after Saturday night's game, opting to waive the small forward after his second 10-day contract expired rather than sign him for the remainder of the season.

That leaves the Mavs in transition mode once again at least for the next four games, if not longer. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said Peja Stojakovic, signed to a full contract last Monday, but still nursing a knee issue, is not expected to travel on the team's upcoming three-game road trip through New York (Wednesday), Boston (Friday) and Charlotte (Saturday).

If that's the case, the earliest Stojakovic would return is Feb. 7 at home against Cleveland.

"He will stay here and concentrate on conditioning and the physical aspects of getting ready to play," Carlisle said after the Mavs' 102-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. "At that point we believe he will be much more ready to step on the court. That is subject to change, but that is where I believe things are right now."

Pavlovic played 10 games and started six, allowing the Mavs to return to their comfort zone with Shawn Marion accompanying Jason Terry off the bench. The Mavs won their final four games and five of the six Pavlovic started.

Marion would now seem to have to step back into the starting role.

The Mavs are down to 14 players, including Stojakovic. Carlisle said the club will either sign another player to a 10-day contract or stick with what they've got for now.

While Joe Alexander, a 6-foot-8 forward for the D-League Texas Legends has received some rave reviews, one team source said the Mavs could look to bring back sharpshooter Steve Novak on a 10-day contract. Novak made the team on a non-guaranteed contract out of training camp, but was waived prior to the deadline for all contracts to become guaranteed for the season.

Novak, however, is not a guy the Mavs would likely slide into the starting small forward spot to keep warm until Stojakovic is ready to go. When with the team, he appeared in just seven games.