Clippers’ search for depth continues with NBA cast-off Sasha Vujacic
Doc Rivers’ search for cheap, semi-reliable veterans continues, this time with former Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic. The Clippers announced on Monday that they had signed the 29-year-old Vujacic to a 10-day contract, making him the latest candidate to come through for an extended workout. Vujacic was briefly made available to the media at the Clippers’ morning shootaround, and according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times the new signee will be available for L.A.’s game against Denver on Monday night.
Vujacic’s signing coincides with the release of Darius Morris, another former Laker whom the Clippers opted not to keep at the conclusion of his second 10-day contract. In recent weeks, Rivers had also signed Stephen Jackson, Maalik Wayns, and Hedo Turkoglu to help fill the final spots of his roster, though only the latter remains.
The link between those candidates is relatively obvious, and perhaps best laid out by Rivers himself. When asked about Jackson’s signing back in December, his review (via Arash Markazi of ESPN LA) was simple: ”I just think he’s a veteran.” Jackson wasn’t a D-League standout or EuroLeague notable, but a player with experience in NBA systems who happened to be available.
That, as it turns out, was enough to secure short-term NBA employ. Such has also been the case with most of the Clippers’ signings since, excepting Wayns – a guard initially signed to be a third point guard option prior to Chris Paul’s shoulder injury. It’s not a coincidence that Wayns was released soon after his minutes took on a greater import, nor that Rivers has otherwise placed a priority on more familiar NBA talent. With the Clippers on the cusp of title contention, he’s likely most interested in the immediately viable — those players who can fill spot minutes without much fuss or specific attention. In the interim Vujacic played professionally for two seasons in Turkey, though he had gone unsigned thus far this season.
There may not be any immediate openings for Vujacic to make an impact with the Clippers, though with the inconsistency of Matt Barnes and Jared Dudley a surprise appearance is certainly a possibility. Regardless, he’ll have 10 days — and perhaps 10 more — to make some kind of impression on Rivers and his staff, after which the Clippers will have to decide whether or not to sign Vujacic for the remainder of the season.