HOOPSWORLD: The Lakers are among the teams with some key free agents to either lock up or let walk. Sasha Vujacic has been vocal about his desire to stay in LA, and the improvements he showed over the 2007-08 season should make him very attractive – both to the Lakers and to possible suitors. On the other hand, the Lakers also have to make a decision about Ronny Turiaf, who is expected to get some love and is rumored to be on the short list for the Utah Jazz. Turiaf was huge in the Lakers’ upset of the San Antonio Spurs, often stepping up and stopping Tim Duncan when Pau Gasol was unable to do so. Turiaf is also one of the more inspiring stories in the league, having overcome open heart surgery to become a significant factor off the bench for the Western Conference champs.

The Jazz would likely have to buy out Jarron Collins to make room for Turiaf, but $2.1 million seems a small price to pay for such an exchange. The Jazz are a fiscally conservative team, but they also understand that some tweaks are needed to get to the next level – especially in the brutal West. Turiaf is someone who could immediately make the Jazz better (and certainly more physical) on the front line. He might be enough to get them back to the Western Conference Finals next season.

Turiaf has expressed his desire to stay in LA, as has Vujacic. The question becomes – if Lamar Odom is dealt, what will the Lakers need to fill in the gaps created by the trade?

  • Michael24

    man turiaf if yu leave you better remember this

    mitch and the whole lakers orginization took care of you like they were there son ok they helped and stuck by you through all these years through your heart surgery and everything you better make the right choice and comeback

    theres no turning back brotha

  • dub824

    hes stayin

  • yellowpurplefever

    He is not going man. He is Kobe’s sidekick. Besides this city loves him and importantly, he is my favorite player on the team. I will real pissed if it does happens.

  • http://www.nba.com/lakers Soichiro

    we hope to see you back ronny!

    we love you!

    but guys, I hope we still cheer ronny even though he’s on the other team already. =)

    he’s going to do what’s best for him and his family.

    I hope we be like Kobe. Not giving in to our own selfish desires.

    He needs money. He’s got family. If he chooses to stay, thanks you.

    If not, love him still! ^_^

  • BringDFishBack

    A few things:
    1. The Lakers will not make a major move. Odom is not going to be dealt. They are not getting Artest. Deal with it. The big move of the offseason is whether or not Sasha stays.
    2. I don’t see why the Jazz want him. In my opinion, every team needs a high energy, physical guy off the bench. But they already have that in Millsap, and two of that same type of player probably won’t work. You need the right combination of guys on the bench, which I feel the Lakers have. Quick point guard, shooter, smart passing big, slasher, high energy, and physical. The jazz have Hart and Korver, but I just can’t see having two of the high energy physical guys working out.

  • KuyaJL

    Turiaf isn’t going anywhere. It isn’t about the money for him, the Lakers stuck with him through the good and the bad and signed him even though he had heart surgery. He probably praises the Lakers organization for that and that’s what’s gonna make him stay.

  • KING-BQ1981

    He is staying…..

  • xxv112002

    He wants to stay. But his agent wants a better contract. Just like Sasha’s. Bynum stated he wants to be a laker as long as he’s treated well, he said he doesn’t have to sign a big contract. Just enough to take care of his family. But then the agent’s job is to sign him to a big contract. Big contract = Big commision! So that’s what happens with players. Even if they want to stay, the agents are the ones fucc!n it up cos they want that “Big Commision”. So yeah, it’s a business.

  • Freshh

    The Bidness

  • KOBEISKING

    [Comment ID #41565 Will Be Quoted Here]

    F”UCK THE AGENTS

  • xtro

    Ronny will stay in L.A.

  • kingkb24

    this is an old article

  • 123KID

    if that happens, the jazz are just gonna smother him on the bench! and hez gonna go crazy!

  • DCLAKER

    TURIAF STAYS,HE ALREADY SAID IT,PERIOD!!!

  • lakersno834

    Not for Jarron Collins are u freakin kidding me??

  • BringDFishBack

    [Comment ID #41577 Will Be Quoted Here]

    The agents gotta make a living too. If all they do is sign small deals and are soft in dealing with management, who is going to want to have them as an agent in the future? No one will sign with them. They’re just doing their job.

  • LakersAllDay

    Uhhhh no

  • http://www.deluxpro.com BuyLakersTickets

    The business side is always the hardest. I’m throwing a cruise party for all Lakers Fans.. If you want in please write back.

  • ab4sure

    Jazz owner.. “you took fish when we had to let him go, so we will take Turiaf”. They might make him a sizable offer. I wish all players would fire their agents. John Stockton never had an agent i believe. He had no problem with his contracts.

  • JC

    We gotta keep Turiaf!! – He’s got SOUL.

  • WeDaBest

    We better not trade Turiaf. His fire and passion off the bench is much needed and he will become a very formidable backup PF to Gasol with work this offseason. Have Ronny Turiaf and Desagana Diop split the MLE and you got yourself the best 4-5 bench combo in the league.