Sasha looks like he wants to stay but so far, it doesn’t look like it will happen.
O.C. Register: The first practice after the All-Star break had ended Monday afternoon, and Sasha Vujacic started shooting.
And shooting and shooting and shooting.
Ron Artest sat on the basket standard where Vujacic was shooting and waited for Vujacic to finish. Artest wanted to get his extra shooting in – with the rebounding assistance of the Lakers’ locker-room attendant, who was busy rebounding for Vujacic.
So Artest watched Vujacic for awhile. Then Artest sat there and stared into space. Artest began studying the tape on his fingers. Eventually, Artest just muttered to himself, “C’mon, Sasha.”
This is the gym-rattiness that could be anotherNBA team’s by noon Thursday, the trading deadline. Vujacic is the player the Lakers would most like to unload – working under the assumption that trading Luke Walton, his bad back and the remaining $21.5 million remaining on his contract is unimaginable.
The thing about this world of trades is that Vujacic more likely will remain a Laker – and the Lakers might well come back around to needing Vujacic to win another NBA championship.
While Mitch Kupchak works the phones, Vujacic is powerless except to shoot and shoot and shoot … and hope he stays. He’s a guy who wore a purple “U Can’t Beat LA, fool” T-shirt in Portland and said it was given to him by “David” – and I wasn’t sure if he meant Beckham or Arquette, because Vujacic has become friends with both. (It’s Arquette, who has a new clothing line.)
“I’m a Laker and I’m proud of it,” Vujacic said. “There are ups and downs. This year, I didn’t play as much. If opportunity knocks at the door this second part of the season and I play now, I’m ready and I’m excited. But whatever comes within the next couple of days, we can’t control that.”
The Lakers’ interest in Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich is well known. Hinrich possesses a rare blend of headiness and grittiness, and he has defensive gusto to have held up pretty well even against Kobe Bryant. Of Hinrich’s field-goal attempts, an inordinate amount are jumpers – suggesting great success with all the open looks produced by the triangle offense.
He doesn’t create much offense for others but doesn’t make many bad passes, much like Derek Fisher at his best. Hinrich is quicker than you think (and obviously quicker than Fisher). He’s also 29, so he should be in his prime.