The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Brian Windhorst has quoted sources in reporting that Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is attempting to trade the Lakers' Sasha Vujacic.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has also reported on his blog that Laker free agent Shannon Brown has been offered a contract by the New York Knicks. Furthermore, he states that "two people with knowledge of the situation" confirm that the Lakers are seeking to trade Vujacic in order to avoid increasing their luxury tax hit in re-signing Brown.
Sasha Vujacic has also been widely rumored to have been offered as trade bait to the Minnesota Timberwolves, reportedly for the rights to newly-acquired Delonte West. It is unclear if this move would be to retain West, or to immediately waive him.
It does seem that if Brown was offered a contract by the Knicks, he could be waiting on Kupchak to move Vujacic's salary so that he can get a more robust offer from LA.
The Lakers own Brown's Early Bird Rights, meaning they can offer him up to the full MLE, or approximately $5.8 million. It is thought, however, that Brown would receive an offer of about half that much annually.
Sasha's contract is an expiring one, which makes him a sought-after commodity. This could be enticing to either the Knicks, in order to pursue other free agents next year or package him in a trade, or the Timberwolves.
An interesting scenario proposed by Bleacher Report's Hadarii Jones involves the Lakers trading Vujacic and Shannon Brown to the Knicks for the rights to Tracy McGrady .
However, not once has it been reported that the Lakers have even expressed interest in McGrady. If one looks at the history of Kupchak's free agency moves, he contacts the free agent players he has targeted early on, so it is exceedingly unlikely that the Lakers have any interest at all in bringing in McGrady.
Furthermore, Kupchak has stated they are looking to re-sign Brown: "I think there’s a good chance that in the next couple of weeks we can have some resolution with Shannon. I’m optimistic."
Therefore, the most likely Laker scenario at this point is that Kupchak finds a team to take Vujacic, clearing the way for Brown to return to Los Angeles. McGrady is a fan favorite though and continues to be an enticing player to Laker fans. However, it is looking very likely that if McGrady does come to LA, it will only be if he wears the red, white, and blue Clipper colors.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!