Vujacic Might Go to Developmental League



http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-spw-lakerep22oct22,0,255602.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Vujacic Might Go to Developmental League By Mike Bresnahan, Times Staff Writer

Struggling second-year guard Sasha Vujacic, whose outside shot has not been
falling in the exhibition season, is a candidate for the developmental league,
Laker Coach Phil Jackson said Friday.

Vujacic, drafted No. 27 by the Lakers in 2004, has made one of 14 shots, and
only one of nine from three-point range, in five exhibition games, numbers that
have Jackson pondering the possibility of sending him down to the Fort Worth
Flyers.

"Sure, " Jackson said. "Anybody's who's under two years [in the league] is an
option to go down there. You have a 15-man roster, how many two-year-and-under
players do we have in reality? We only have like three or four. He'd be a guy
that would be that."

Players in their first two seasons can be assigned to the development league up
to three times per season. If Vujacic is sent down, he will continue to be
paid his NBA salary and will still be included on the Lakers' 15-man roster, as
one of three players on the inactive list.

Vujacic, 21, seemed surprised, even demoralized, at the possibility.

"Hopefully I will stay here, " he said. "I have bigger goals in my life than
to play in the D-League. Hopefully I will have a chance to play for Phil
Jackson and his coaching staff."

Vujacic, who averaged 2.9 points and 1.5 assists in 35 games last season, has
rushed his shots and developed a habit that Jackson noticed in Thursday's loss
to the Denver Nuggets.

"He was kicking his leg out trying to protect himself a la a Reggie Miller type
of thing, " Jackson said. "He just didn't have to do that. It was against
[Earl] Boykins, who's 5-foot-5.

"He's still conscious that he has to hurry his shot and so we're trying to get
him to relax a little bit. He's still a young kid that we want to keep
nurturing and keep bringing along."

Jackson, lamenting the lack of two-a-day practices allowed under the current
collective bargaining agreement, mentioned that Bill Fitch once conducted 30
days of two-a-days as coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1970-71.

The Cavaliers went 15-67 that season.

"They were an expansion team, " Jackson said, adding with a wry smile, "We're
an expansion team."

The Lakers had six days of two-a-day practices.

Forward Kwame Brown has been active and aggressive in most of his starts, but
he remains cold from the free-throw line, making 17 of 31 (54.8%) in five
exhibition games.

"I think Kwame's going to be fine, " Jackson said. "He just got nervous out
there and started flicking the ball up rather than really shooting it."

Brown is a career 66.4% free-throw shooter.

Jackson, telling a Swedish TV reporter why he came back to the Lakers: "It was
just the idea of getting back in the competition and trying to make this team
competitive again."

Oh, and one other thing: "The money was good."
.