Lakers finding nonexistent market for Vujacic


vujacic.jpgUpdate 4:32 pm A new version of this trade has popped up on ESPN: Two parts are the same, the Lakers get Hinrich and the Blazers get Tyrus Thomas and Sasha Vujacic. What is different is more details on what the Bulls get: Adam Morrison, Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw and Juwan Howard. However, this does not solve the issue that the Blazers do not really want Vujacic.

1:15 pm The Lakers know they need an upgrade at point guard (although they add they can still win a title this year as is). They also think the Bulls Kirk Hinrich could be a good fit long term (even though is offensive numbers this year are basically the same as Derek Fisher’s).

Hinrich, however, is expensive — he is owed $9 million next year, $8 million the year after that. The Lakers are already paying Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom and Ron Artest a lot of money in that time. That would be $17 million for offensive option number five in the Lakers offense.

Still, their interested, but they need to get someone to take on one of their bad contracts. Say, Sasha Vujacic. That’s what Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting.

The Portland Trail Blazers were telling teams over the weekend they had a chance to acquire Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic and wondered whether teams might have an interest in obtaining him. This prompted several executives to suggest the Blazers were working on a three-team trade, including one Eastern Conference general manager who had been told the elements of the package included (Tyrus) Thomas and Vujacic to Portland, the Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich to Los Angeles and the Lakers’ Adam Morrison, another expiring deal and a first-round pick to the Bulls.

“What has, or will kill this,” one GM said, “is that Portland just won’t take Vujacic on.”

Vujacic is owed $5.5 million next year, the last year of a deal that he signed right after the 2008 Finals, when he closed out games alongside Kobe and played the best basketball of his career. Since then, his shot has come and come and gone like Punxsutawney Phil. His defense has mostly just gone.

Next year, as an expiring deal, the Lakers likely will be able to move him. But this year, if someone has to take him on for the Lakers to make a deal, it looks like Buss and team will play the cards they have been dealt.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist taken to hospital after shoulder injury

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.

Derrick Rose expected to rejoin Bulls on Wednesday

Derrick Rose
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CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.

“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”

Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.

“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”

The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.

Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.