Chris Paul is expected to miss up to six weeks after suffering a separated shoulder Friday night in Dallas. The Clippers are still without starting shooting guard J.J. Redick, who is making progress in his recovery from hand and wrist injuries but is believed to be out for at least another week. While Chris Paul continues to rehab his injured shoulder, the Clippers made a recent move in signing former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Darius Morris in order to fill the point guard void. The team, however, may not be finished digging through the pile of available free agents just yet. The Los Angeles Clippers are pursuing well-known veteran free agents Sasha Vujacic and Hedo Turkoglu as they try to fill the guard void created by Chris Paul’s shoulder injury
Sources told ESPN.com 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.
Can confirm Clippers’ interest in Hedo Turkoglu. Clippers have also worked out former Laker guard Darius Morris in search for PG help.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 6, 2014
The Orlando Magic severed ties with Turkoglu in a cost-cutting move that saved the franchise nearly $6 million. At 34, it’s hard to know what the veteran forward would bring to the Clips. But with a dearth of capable backups in the frontcourt, perhaps Turkoglu’s versatility could provide a spark off the bench. For his 13-year career, Turkoglu has averaged 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists while spending his career with the Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic and a short stint with the Phoenix Suns. Turkoglu could provide some savvy and veteran playoff experience as he has spent eight of his 13 season in the postseason. His outside range could also be an attractive asset to the Clippers while J.J. Redick nurses his injury to his right hand.
Vujacic is best known for his role on a couple of championship teams with the Los Angeles Lakers. He could step in behind Morris as a backup to Darren Collison while Chris Paul recovers from his shoulder injury. Vujacic, a sharp-shooter, could also be another long range asset for the Clippers, who shoot just over 33 percent from beyond the arc, which ranks 27th in the league. For his career, Vujacic averaged 5.6 points per game on just better than 37 percent from the 3-point line. Vujacic, 29, has been working out in Los Angeles for months in hopes of getting back into the NBA after the former Lakers guard from Slovenia spent the previous two seasons playing in Turkey.
The Clippers, though, would have to open up a roster spot before making any further signings and face an immediate decision on Stephen Jackson, whose minimum-salary contract will be guaranteed for the rest of the season if he’s still on the Clippers roster beyond Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Clippers need to find a way to strengthen a potential championship roster on the cheap, and signing a couple of low-risk veterans to 10-day contracts is pretty much the best way to do that. If L.A. follows through by signing one or both of its current targets, it will get an inexpensive look at a couple of assets that might play a role down the line.
And if it doesn’t work out, the Clips can quickly end the relationship in 10 days, moving on to the next long shot on their list. But there’s no harm in taking a chance on a pair of experienced vets in the meantime.