News broke during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 103-89 victory over the Washington Wizards that Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic will likely be traded to the New Jersey Nets. Via CBS Sports:
The first step, agreed to in principle Tuesday, is a three-team trade in which the Nets get a first-round pick from the Rockets and another one from the Lakers. New Jersey sends Terrence Williams to the Rockets and Joe Smith to the Lakers, who send Sasha Vujacic to the Nets, the people familiar with the framework of the deal said.
Vujacic, nicknamed the “Machine”, had fallen out of the Lakers’ rotation this season with the new additions of Steve Blake, Matt Barnes and the improved play of Shannon Brown.
The trade cannot officially go through until Wednesday, so Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson was unable to comment in his post game presser, but he did slyly remark that they could us a big guy named John Doe in a hypothetical question about adding Joe Smith.
Vujacic dressed in uniform for the game, did not play, and there was speculation that he might have known about his pending departure from Los Angeles. A local L.A. reporter was able to corral Sasha for comment as he exited the visiting locker room. To the disbelief of several media members, Sasha was just notified of a potential trade by Lakers PR director John Black and had not even spoken to his agent because of spotty cell service.
Vujacic was visibly stunned upon learning the new fate of his basketball career, and the question of whether or not he would be on the team’s flight to Indiana for their next game Wednesday night against the Pacers was still unresolved.
Professional sports players regularly use the talking point “it’s a business” when discussing trades, and it obviously is with players routinely being exchanged as commodities, but there was some surreal weirdness when informing an unaware Shannon Brown that his teammate had been traded.
The following video includes exclusive footage of Vujacic along with quotes from Jackson and Brown:
Sadly or hysterically, the last memorable moment of Vujacic’s Lakers’ career was being a target of the Verizon Center’s Kiss Cam.
By the way, Vujacic is engaged to Maria Sharapova, so plan your pity accordingly.