Report: Clippers Interested in Hedo Turkoglu and Sasha Vujacic


Jan 22, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Orlando Magic small forward Hedo Turkoglu (15) warms up before the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Between the blowouts, injuries, flops and things of that nature, this is easily the low-point of the Los Angeles Clippers young season.

Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN report that the Clippers are interested in wing players Sasha Vujacic and Hedo Turkoglu.

"The Los Angeles Clippers are looking hard at well-known veteran free agents Sasha Vujacic and Hedo Turkoglu as they try to fill the playmaking void created by Chris Paul‘s shoulder injury, according to sources close to the process.Sources told that the Clippers could make a new 10-day signing as early as Tuesday, with Vujacic and Turkoglu currently at the forefront of L.A.’s thinking.Sources: Clippers mull free agents | ESPN LA"

The keywords in that graph are “try to fill the playmaking void created by Chris Paul‘s shoulder injury.” Time may be failing my brain, but the last time either of the two mentioned players were viable playmakers, I was still in high school. I graduated in 2009.

Within that article Doc Rivers had this to say about Turkoglu, who was recently released by the Orlando Magic.

“”I just like him. He’s out there and we should look at him. I’ve always liked him. He can shoot and play [small forward and power forward].”

While that is an accurate description of Turkoglu, there’s always a disparity between the ability to do something and backing up that ability with production of some quality. Labels don’t leave players often. Once you’re a shooter or a point forward or good defender, you’re likely to be regarded as such for the bulk of your career. The Turkoglu we all remember could do all of the things mentioned above, but he hasn’t necessarily done them well lately.

Combining his games played from the last two seasons (Turkoglu had yet to appear in a Magic game this year), Hedo averaged 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4 assists per game with shooting splits of 40/32/69. For the advanced stat crowd, a PER of 10.9, far below the league average of 15, during that 64 game stretch.

To put it lightly, Doc Rivers may enjoy the idea of Hedo Turkoglu moreso than the player that has been seen the past two seasons. Think about it. Isn’t that what Rivers brought in Antawn Jamison for? Isn’t that why the organization kept heavy tabs on Lamar Odom despite his poor play since being traded by the Los Angeles Lakers and a bevy of drug usage rumors from this past summer? It’s kind of what he wanted Matt Barnes to be also, but injury to he and the team has kept that experiment from being used in a heavy dosage.

As far as the Sasha Vujacic rumors, that’s more a showing of the situation the Clippers are currently in. The machine hasn’t played an NBA game since being a member of the Brooklyn (then New Jersey) Nets.

Since these rumors sparked, they’ve gained little traction, especially on the Turkoglu front. The roster is currently at 14 meaning a ten-day contract for either player would still leave the team with no room to add an additional talent.

Like I mentioned above, the idea of having a player like Hedo Turkoglu (or even Sasha) on the roster is fine, but I’m unsure if he is the player for the job based on the last few years.