Peja Stojakovic

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Peja Stojakovic
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Peja Stojakovic
Position: Forward
Height: 6'10
Weight: 229
Nationality: Yugoslavian
Born: 6/9/1977
Birthplace: Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Draft: First Round
Drafted By: Sacramento
College: n/a
NBA Career: 2003 - 2012
Mavs Tenure: 2011 - 2012

Peja Stojakovic (born June 9, 1977 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia) was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Mavericks on January 24, 2011.

Stojakovic was selected in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft but opted to play his first two professional seasons in Greece where he had become a citizen in 1993. He played both seasons with PAOK in Thessaloniki and averaged 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds his rookie season. The next year he doubled his scoring average to 20.3 points his season ended abruptly with a broken right leg.

He returned to the United States to complete his rehab in Sacramento in the summer of 1998 while signing a three-year contract with the Kings. That first year, his rookie campaign in the NBA, he saw action in 48 games averaging 8.4 points and 3.4 rebounds. In all Stojakovic played senven-and-a-half seasons with Sacramento. He was named to the NBA Western Conference All-Star team three times and was 2nd team All-NBA in 2003-2004. That same year, the 6'10 forward posted career numbers averaging 24.2 points and 6.3 rebounds.

While the 2005-2006 season began in Sacramento, the Kings traded Stojakovic to Indiana on January 25, 2006 in exchange for Ron Artest. He finished the season with the Pacers, appearing in 40 games and averaging 19.5 points. During the 2006 offseason, he re-signed with the Pacers, only to be traded to the then-New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets for the draft rights to Andrew Betts.

Stojakovic was limited to only 13 games that season. He did, however, post a career high 42 points against the Charlotte Bobcats on November 14 and also became the first player in NBA history to score his team's first 20 points of the game. Back surgery ended his innaugural year with the Hornets as he missed a total of 69 games.

The next two seasons, Stojakovic averaged 16.4 and 13.3 points respectively for the Hornets. As the 2010-2011 season began, New Orleans sent him to Toronto as part of a five-player deal. An injured left knee limited him to only nine games with Toronto and he was waived by the Raptors on January 20, 2011.

The Mavericks signed Stojakovic as a free agent on January 24 and allowed him time to continue the rehab on the knee injury. He recovered enough to become a vital part of the Mavs' bench and provided a spark off that bench which helped lead Dallas to the NBA Championship that season.

He retired after the 2010-2011 season.

On the international front, Stojakovic has won Gold Medals, with the Serbian National Team at both the 2001 European Championships and the 2002 FIBA World Championships.