Yesterday, Knicks 101 made the argument that the New York Knicks should try to bring Jordan Farmar in as a free agent. Farmar is playing overseas and could be a player that could give the Knicks youth and athleticism in their backcourt. Today, lets discuss Farmar's former teammate Sasha Vujacic as a possible free agent target for the Knicks.
This off-season the New York Knicks need to use their creativity to improve themselves through free agency. The Knicks don't have a lot of money and need to get younger and more athletic throughout their roster. Glen Grunwald would really like to find that youth and athleticism at the point guard position, but a combo guard could also be useful. Someone like Sasha Vujacic could give the Knicks time as a reserve behind Raymond Felton and also at the shooting guard position when needed. Vujacic's desire to return to the NBA could the Knicks take advantage and get some quality talent at a discount price?
Vujacic is a 29 year old combo guard who was drafted 27th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2004 NBA Draft. While the Knicks would ideally like someone a bit younger their funds are limited and you have to remember that last season they had Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni who combined for 74 years old. Bringing in a 29 year old isn't the end of the world, especially for depth at two positions.
Vujacic played for Snaidero Udine in Italy from 2001-04, the Lakers from 2004-10, the New Jersey Nets from 2010-11 and Anadolu Efes in Turkey since 2011. You'll notice Vujacic and Farmar have been teammates in Los Angeles, New Jersey and in Turkey.
Vujacic has played the point guard position in Europe, but is best known for his shooting guard play with the Lakers. During his time in Los Angeles, Vujacic was a part of two NBA championships (2009, 2010). He recently posted a picture of his ridiculous 2009 ring and stated that he wanted another one. Clearly he has to return to the NBA to reach that goal. Could New York take advantage?
Vujacic is a 6'7", 193 pound guard. He's a talented swingman who has a strong shooting ability and can play strong perimeter defense. He's a fiery guy who brings energy to the floor and is easy to cheer for. He's not an elite athlete but makes up for it by playing with hustle, relying on his intelligence and using his explosiveness.
He can shoot from all over the court and is very effective from the three-point arc. Vujacic is a good spot up shooter, can push the ball in transition and use screens to get open. He's one of the better catch and shoot players you'll find but is also a solid shooter off the dribble. He can also finish at the rim.
Vujacic's a very good free throw shooter and has solid dribbling abilities. He also doesn’t turn the ball over very often and doesn’t telegraph his passes. He is always looking to get his teammates involved, which is great considering he can play both guard positions. He can also defend both guard positions well, which could potentially make him a Mike Woodson favorite.
He's not a shut down defender but he is smart and intense and moves his feet well, which makes up for his poor wingspan. He does struggle covering stronger players but he's a high effort player who tries hard to overcome his lack of strength and lateral quickness. That being said, he can have trouble fighting through screens. He's also a capable rebounder for his position.
Vujacic is an ideal complimentary player who has already shown he can play next to a big scorer from his days by the side of Kobe Bryant. There's little doubt he could play with Carmelo Anthony. This off-season the Knicks are going to have to look high and low, close and far to find affordable talent to fill their roster. There's no reason why they shouldn't check into Vujacic's availability and desire to return to the NBA.