Aleksandar " Sasha " Vujačić ( Serbian: Саша Вујачић , Slovene: Saša Vujačič , rendered in English as Sasha Vujacic , Serbian pronunciation: [alekˈsandar ˈsaʃa ˈʋujat͡ɕit͡ʃ] ; born March 8, 1984) is a Slovenian professional basketball player for Auxilium Torino of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA). Throughout his career, he has also played in Italy (for Snaidero Udine), in Turkey (for Anadolu Efes and İstanbul BB) and in the United States (for the Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks). He plays at the shooting guard position.

Early career

Vujačić's father, Vaso, is a Serbian basketball coach. [2]

From 1998 to 2000, Vujačić played for Branik and Polzela. [40] In 2000–01, he played for the Snaidero Udine junior team.

Vujačić was a member of the Slovenian junior national team, winning a silver medal at the 2002 European Junior Championship. [3]

Professional career

Italy (2001–2004)

From 2001 to 2004, Vujačić played for Snaidero Udine of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A.

Los Angeles Lakers (2004–2010)

Vujačić was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 27th overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. On July 20, 2004, he signed a multi-year deal with the Lakers. [4]

On November 29, 2007, Vujačić recorded a then-career high 22 points in a win over the Denver Nuggets. [5]

In the 2007–08 season, Vujačić made 118 of his 270 three-point field goal attempts, setting the Los Angeles Lakers single-season record for the best three-point field goal percentage (.437) in a single season. However, Vladimir Radmanović broke that record in 2008–09 with 44.1%. [6]

During game 3 of the 2008 NBA Finals, Vujačić scored a career playoff high 20 points off the bench. Vujačić's 20, with the exception of Kobe Bryant, made him the only Laker to score in double figures. The Lakers went on to lose the series in 6 games to the Boston Celtics.

In July 2008, he switched agents to Rob Pelinka. On July 28, 2008, Vujačić re-signed with the Lakers to a multi-year deal. [8] Los Angeles made it back to the NBA Finals to face the Orlando Magic. The Lakers won the 2009 NBA Finals 4-1 to give Vujačić his first NBA championship.

In Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals, Vujačić led the Lakers' bench with nine points, including two three-pointers. With 11 seconds left in Game 7 and the Lakers leading by only two points, Vujačić helped secure the Lakers second championship in a row with two crucial free throws and defeat the Celtics in a game 7 for the first time in the rivalry.

New Jersey Nets (2010–2011)

On December 15, 2010, Vujačić was traded to the New Jersey Nets in a three-team trade involving the Lakers and Houston Rockets. On the Nets, Vujačić reunited with former Lakers teammate Jordan Farmar. [82] In his debut for the Nets, Vujačić had 6 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in 27 minutes of play.

On January 1, 2011, Vujačić tied his career high of 22 points, eight games after being traded to the Nets.

On February 9, 2011, Vujačić set a new career high with 25 points in a win over the then New Orleans Hornets.

Anadolu Efes (2011–2013)

In July 2011, he signed a two-year contract with Anadolu Efes. [10] [41] In his first Euroleague season, over 16 games as a starter, he averaged 13.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. [12]

On August 6, 2012, it was confirmed that Vujačić would stay with the team for one more season. [13] On November 16, in a Euroleague game against EA7 Milano, he scored 29 points, helping his team win 77–71. [14] Over 10 regular season games, he had 12.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. [15] Vujačić and his teammate Jordan Farmar helped Efes to advance to the Top 16 round, edging Cedevita on the road by 81–73 in one of the most crucial games in group C. [16] [17]

Los Angeles Clippers (2014)

On February 3, 2014, Vujačić signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. [18] He did not sign a second 10-day contract with Clippers after his first 10-day contract expired. [19] He appeared in just two games for the Clippers, averaging 2.5 points per game. [40]

Return to Europe (2014–2015)

On March 25, 2014, Vujačić signed with Italian team Reyer Venezia Mestre for the rest of the 2013–14 season. [40] He played 5 matches with the team, scoring 11 points per game. [40]

On October 28, 2014, Vujačić signed with the Spanish team Laboral Kutxa for the rest of 2014–15 season. [40] He left the team on December 30, 2014. [40] On January 2, 2015, he signed with İstanbul BB of Turkey for the rest of the 2014–15 Turkish Basketball League season. [40]

New York Knicks (2015–2017)

On August 7, 2015, Vujačić signed with the New York Knicks. [40] He made his debut for the Knicks in the team's season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 28, recording 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals in a 122–97 win. [40] On March 9, 2016, Vujačić made the most of a rare opportunity to start and play big minutes. He scored a season-high 23 points and knocked down a career high-tying 6-of-7 three-pointers to help the Knicks defeat the Phoenix Suns 128–97. [40]

On July 14, 2016, Vujačić re-signed with the Knicks. [40] On February 1, 2017, he made team history by converting a pair of four-point plays during the Knicks' 95–90 win over the Brooklyn Nets. [3]

Auxilium Torino (2017–present)

On August 29, 2017, Vujačić signed with Italian club Auxilium Torino for the 2017–18 season. [3]

Career statistics

Legend
GP Games played GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage
RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game PIR Performance Index Rating
Bold Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

Denotes season in which Vujačić won the NBA championship

NBA

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2004–05 L.A. Lakers 35 3 11.5 .282 .270 .947 1.8 1.5 .3 .1 2.9
2005–06 L.A. Lakers 82 4 17.7 .346 .343 .885 1.9 1.7 .6 .0 3.9
2006–07 L.A. Lakers 73 4 12.8 .392 .373 .878 1.5 .9 .6 .0 4.3
2007–08 L.A. Lakers 72 0 17.8 .454 .437 .835 2.1 1.0 .5 .1 8.8
2008–09 L.A. Lakers 80 0 16.2 .387 .363 .921 1.7 1.4 1.0 .1 5.8
2009–10 L.A. Lakers 67 1 8.6 .402 .309 .848 1.2 .6 .3 .1 2.8
2010–11 L.A. Lakers 11 0 4.9 .348 .429 .500 .4 .5 .1 .0 1.8
2010–11 New Jersey 56 17 28.5 .404 .369 .851 3.3 2.3 .9 .1 11.4
2013–14 L.A. Clippers 2 0 5.0 .400 .500 .000 1.5 .0 .5 .0 2.5
2015–16 New York 61 25 14.9 .383 .364 .821 2.4 1.4 .6 .1 4.9
2016–17 New York 42 4 9.7 .309 .311 .708 1.4 1.2 .3 .0 3.0
Career 581 58 15.3 .390 .367 .858 1.9 1.3 .6 .1 5.3

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006 L.A. Lakers 7 0 18.4 .423 .600 1.000 2.4 .9 .6 .0 6.0
2007 L.A. Lakers 4 0 10.8 .556 .250 .000 1.0 .8 .3 .0 2.8
2008 L.A. Lakers 21 0 21.7 .399 .392 .857 2.2 .8 .6 .2 8.1
2009 L.A. Lakers 23 0 10.9 .264 .314 .833 1.4 .5 .4 .2 3.0
2010 L.A. Lakers 10 0 7.6 .435 .400 .833 .8 .5 .2 .0 3.1
Career 65 0 14.7 .366 .384 .879 1.6 .6 .4 .1 5.0

Euroleague

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2011–12 Anadolu Efes 16 16 29.0 .407 .338 .864 3.3 1.7 1.1 .2 13.9 12.2
2012–13 Anadolu Efes 24 7 21.7 .376 .376 .758 3.0 1.0 .8 .1 9.1 8.3
2014–15 Laboral Kutxa 8 2 21.7 .318 .292 .667 1.9 .8 .3 .1 4.9 1.8
Career 48 25 24.1 .409 .349 .803 2.9 1.2 .8 .1 10.0 7.4

Personal life

Vujačić was born in Maribor, Slovenia, to a Serbian father and Slovenian mother. His father was a Serbian basketball coach, [2] while his mother was a Slovenian volleyball player. [31] His mother was playing volleyball for a top Yugoslav women's club, Branik Maribor, but quit her career at the age of 19 when she got pregnant with Sasha. [31] His parents divorced when he was 6, and he lived with his mother and soon afterwards with his stepfather. [31] He has two siblings, a sister named Nina, and a brother named Aljoša. In addition to playing basketball, he enjoys volleyball, tennis, and soccer. [3]

He was once engaged to professional tennis player Maria Sharapova, [3] but the two separated in 2012. [3]

See also

Image
Vujačić (left) playing for Knicks in 2015