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Sasha Vujacic Traded From Los Angeles Lakers To New Jersey Nets

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterDecember 15, 2010

Sasha Vujacic will be on his way to New Jersey.
Sasha Vujacic will be on his way to New Jersey.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

According to ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers have just pulled off a three-team trade with the New Jersey Nets and the Houston Rockets, whereby the Lakers would acquire veteran forward Joe Smith from the Nets in exchange for Sasha Vujacic.

New Jersey will also send forward Terrence Williams to the Rockets and will receive the LA's 2011 first round pick and Houston's lottery protected first round choice in 2012.

The deal cannot be officially authorized until December 15th per NBA rules restricting the trading of off-season acquisitions, of which Joe Smith was one for New Jersey.

Smith comes to Los Angeles with career averages of 11.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 16 seasons since being selected out of Maryland with the first overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in the 1995 NBA Draft.

The deal provides Kobe Bryant and the Lakers with some added front court depth amidst injuries to veteran center Theo Ratliff and young starting center Andrew Bynum. Phil Jackson's squad has struggled in recent weeks to overcome this lack of depth, though the return of Bynum against the Washington Wizards should provide some relief.

It also rids the Lakers of the contract of Sasha Vujacic, who is in the last year of a three-year, $15 million contract despite a career average of only 4.8 points per game.

On the Rockets' end, Williams has struggled in his second year out of Louisville after being taken with the 11th overall pick by the Nets in the 2009 NBA Draft. After a productive rookie season, Williams' level of play fell off this season, prompting New Jersey to send him down to the D-league for a short stint to get his act together.

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This trade gives the Nets a potential total of five first-round picks over the next two years with which to rebuild a franchise that has fallen into mediocrity in recent years after the glory days of Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, and Kenyon Martin.

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