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Posted at 5:30 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Joe Smith, Sasha Vujacic part of Lakers, Rockets, Nets trade

By Cindy Boren

Updated at 12:54 p.m.

The Los Angeles Lakers have made it official, announcing that they have traded Sasha Vujacic and a 2011 first-round draft pick to the New Jersey Nets for veteran forward Joe Smith as part of a multi-team trade. The Lakers also receive Golden State's second-round draft selection in 2011 and Chicago's second-round selection in 2012.
The Lakers also received the rights to 6-foot-10 Ukrainian center Sergei Lishouk.

Filed at 5:30 a.m.

The Los Angeles Lakers would add front-court depth and subtract about $8 million in salary and luxury taxes from their ledger if they have, indeed, agreed to trade Sasha Vujacic and a 2011 first-round draft pick to New Jersey in a three-team trade that would bring forward Joe Smith, the No. 1 draft pick in the stone age of 1995, to the Lakers.

New Jersey would ship forward Terrance Williams to Houston. The trade could involve another non-Lakers player, according to the Los Angeles Times, to equalize the exchanged salaries.

Why the woulds and coulds and ifs? Nothing has been announced (see Phil Jackson play coy in the video above); today is the first day that free agents who signed in the summer, like Smith, can be traded.

Which brings us to Carmelo Anthony. What does the possibly impending deal mean for him? Anything? There's been buzz about the Nuggets moving him for months. Does this deal change things? The Nets made the deal for Vujacic to "strengthen their hand with the Denver Nuggets on a play" for Anthony, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnaroski writes. One thing is certain: New Jersey is loaded with first-round draft picks over the next two years -- two of their own, the Lakers' in 2011, Golden State's in '11 and Houston's in '12. Anthony would prefer to play in Madison Square Garden with the Knicks, but they can't offer the kind of deal the Nets could.

Still, it's speculation at the moment. Wojnaroski cites a source telling him that any reports of a deal in place between Denver and New Jersey at the moment are "completely and utterly false."

So all that is certain is that Vujacic, who's engaged to Maria Sharapova, claimed he didn't really know last night if he was leaving DC with the Lakers after their victory over the Wizards. (He'll always have the Kiss Cam.)

By Cindy Boren  | December 15, 2010; 5:30 AM ET
Categories:  NBA  
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After all Joe Smith did to help bring Maryland basketball back to prominence, I would love to see him get an NBA Championship ring. Good luck, Joe. I'll be rooting for you.

Posted by: patrickmc12 | December 15, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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