The Machine Shut Down: Why the LA Lakers Traded Sasha Vujacic to New Jersey

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly trading guard Sasha Vujacic to New Jersey in a three-team deal. The deal should be finalized on Wednesday.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets are in advanced talks on three-way deal sending Terrence Williams to Houston with Sasha Vujacic and a future Houston first-round pick going to the Nets. The Lakers will get Nets forward Joe Smith in return and LA will also send their 2011 first-round pick in 2011 to New Jersey.

So, why would the Lakers shut down the Machine? Money and size. 

And, I’m not talking diamonds. 


Reason One Why Sasha Goes Bye Bye: All About the Benjamins 

I’m talking Joe Smith and getting an expensive player off the books in Sasha, who was making $5.4 million in the final year of his contract to sit on the bench. 

If the Lakers didn’t do something with him before the trade deadline, they would be completely out of luck next summer. Instead, they shut down the self appointed “machine” and get another big in return.

But why trade Sasha? 

Because Sasha has been the odd man out this season. With the emergence of guard Shannon Brown—who spent the summer working on his outside jumper—all of coach Phil Jackson’s bench minutes have gone to Brown. And, Brown delivers.

Additionally, Matt Barnes, acquired this past summer, has also proven to be a consistent performer at the 3 spot. That means Kobe Bryant slides to the guard spot and sucks up more minutes that in past seasons could have gone to Sasha. 

The Lakers’ management looked at their bench and saw an expensive player who didn’t play and saw how thin their front line has been to start this season.

Don’t kid yourself, this is a money-saving deal, with the...

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