Inside the Lakers: Just got back from Sasha Vujacic’s press conference this afternoon and got the answer to the question you always have to ask a free agent who has just cashed in:

“I heard a rumor that guys who sign a contract don’t keep working to get better, but I don’t agree with that,” Vujacic said. “I will definitely keep getting better. I’m a gym rat. That’s how I am.

“My goal is to be the best shooter in the NBA and if I keep working hard, I think I can do that.”

It’s no coincidence that the Lakers and Vujacic agreed to a three-year deal. From the team’s standpoint, it means that the Lakers can see how he develops over the next three years, if he gets better, or if he’s reached his ceiling, without committing to six years. From Vujacic’s standpoint, it means that he’s in line for a much bigger payday in three years, when he’ll only be 27 (the prime for most NBA players) if he continues to develop.

Vujacic is taking on some risk of course. If he doesn’t improve, or if the Lakers don’t play as well as a team, his value in three years might be lower, not higher. To compensate him for that risk, the team upped its original offer of about $12 million over three seasons to $15 million over three seasons.

In other words, Vujacic got paid, but still has plenty of incentive to work on his game.

He said that because the negotiations took so long, he’s only planning to go home to Slovenia for about a week, then return to Los Angeles and get back in the gym.

  • PhilJackson

    Good to have you back on board SASHA!!!”I am the Machine,Fear me!

  • True Lakers Fan

    Machine bytchessssssssssssssss

  • K0be08-09

    yea MACHINE WILL WORK ALOT, 2008 3pt Champ

  • http://www.vemmabuilder.com/15126071 Billy Kupchak

    Stronger Sasha! :cool:

  • http://myspace.com/sonicussj Whatsa

    He better be the best shooter in the NBA in the upcomming years.. and that would be awesome to see him in the 3-point shootout :]

  • 123KID

    [Comment ID #47418 Will Be Quoted Here]

    that would be the shiz! but ya! he better keep his word and keep gettin better.

  • xtro

    The Maaaaacccchiiinnnnee!!!!!

  • Lakerfan101

    I hope he work harder than he did this year!

  • DCLAKER

    MF MACHINE(His new name,sorta like MF Doom but instead of METAL FACE,HE’S MOTHERF’IN MACHINE)!!!

  • gugy

    Better be playing like a champ for the money he is making.

  • http://andrewbynum.com andy bynum

    i want to see a mount rushmore with kobe lamar gasol bynum

  • daboss1849

    We’ll see if the machine can break the dreaded lakers curse… Once u get your money you lose all your talent and ain’t worth shyt…

  • http://www.jamieinsider.com Jamie Spears Insider

    Surpass R. Allen and Peja, Sasha!

  • http://lakers.topbuzz.com Mamba2410

    He’s going to only get better, he’s a work rat, and he’s already good, he’s going to be good this year, much better, along with Bynum (just get back in shape and work on your speed, jumping ability, health/durability and stamina young gun!), Farmar (work on jumpshot), Ariza (work on jumpshot), we’re going to be good next year, mark my words guys, mark my words!

  • daboss1848

    [Comment ID #47439 Will Be Quoted Here]

    kobe?

  • RC

    I like Sasha. I like the 6’7″ height. I like his energy on defense. He has made clutch shots when we need them. I remember only one time he looked like a mad man on the court when the other Lakers were at the other end and he became a little out of control. I like that he and Kobe play well together. He is a team player. He has excellent sportmanship. He did help the Lakers get to the championships!

    Is he worth $5million per year for 3 years coming off the bench? If Kobe says he’s good, then I agree! I can’t wait for the season to begin!

  • yellowpurplefever

    SASH,
    DON’T BE A V-LADY AND FLUKE, PLS. work on DEFENSE this summer and the offense will come. and Congrats.

  • lskerfan567

    ,machine iznt gonna be good as JR smith but hes is just as fun to watch

  • Laker Realist

    Nobody in the NBA made Sasha an offer yet Mitch comes at him with $5m/year? AND just lets Turiaf walk?

    Laker Nation has been talking about getting tougher, but instead they hand out $5M/year to a soft euro shooter who averaged 8.0 PPG.

    C’mon Laker Fans. This site is becoming just as soft as Sashas D. He can’t guard one on one and relies on help too often.

    I hope he proves me wrong.

    If you ask me, we didn’t need scorer, just let Kobe get his 30 shots up because we win when Kobe shoots….

  • lakers2000

    This is just the start to what the Lakers are going to put together. Go Lakers!!!!!

  • ab4sure

    [Comment ID #47458 Will Be Quoted Here]

    We win when kobe shoots 30 shots??? Your not living in reality. When kobe shoots less are record is much better. Stop dreaming and get Real.

  • ak24

    [Comment ID #47517 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Lakers realist ur retardo

    GO RESEARCH your theory
    when kobe shits thirty shots we ussulay lose

  • Laker Fan

    $5m for 8 PPG. Mitch could have done better.

    And now Artest to Houston for B Jackson and a 1st?

    I’m curious as to what Mitch offered.

  • Smush Walton

    OK Sasha, you got your money.

    Please work on your defense. Cut out the stupid flopping and work on your fundamentals. That last second D against Ray Allen was DISGUSTING.

    Oh, and its time to grow up and get a haircut. You look like an idiot out there always futzing with that stupid little Laker girl headband.

  • dom3983

    For 5 million a year Sasha better work on his bad defense. Better footwork and stop reaching in all the time.

  • Laker Fan

    [Comment ID #47733 Will Be Quoted Here]

    And Ray is not known for breaking people down like that…

    That play will forever be burned in my head when I think of the machine. That was a pivotal play. Lets hope that play doesn’t stay in his head or his career is doomed.

    But the guy semms to want to work so lets hope for the best. Everyone says he’s got good work ethics. And keep in mind that Luke and Radman can only get better.

  • http://lakersnation.com mr.clutch

    sasha man drive in the ball once in a while all you do is shoot 3 pointers