Turkoglu and Vujacic? Is Doc Rivers stockpiling former adversaries?

Stephen Dunn

After signing Sasha Vujacic to a 10 day contract, Doc Rivers has now signed two players who were on teams that knocked his Celtics out of the playoffs. Coincidence?

The last two signings by the Los Angeles Clippers, Hedo Turkoglu and now Sasha Vujacic, both seemed strange at the time. Thankfully Turkoglu seems to be working out, but Vujacic is even more of a stretch, given that the Clippers have plenty of wings (even if Jared Dudley and Matt Barnes have underperformed a bit at small forward this season). Vujacic is just on a 10 day contract as opposed to the guaranteed deal given to Turkoglu, so the risk is very low with Sasha. But still, these are weird right? I mean, what is driving these signings?

And then I realized: Doc Rivers' Celtics lost to Turkoglu's Orlando Magic team in the 2009 NBA playoffs and to a Lakers team featuring Vujacic in 2010. After having won the NBA title with the Celtics in 2008 with a veteran roster, Doc knew that the championship window wouldn't be open much longer. The playoff losses in 2009 and 2010 no doubt hit Doc hard -- and now he's trying to exorcise those demons by signing his former tormentors. One can only assume that the Spurs barely beat him to the punch on Shannon Brown.

Still, the Clippers continue to have an obvious need in the front court, not on the wing. So assuming Vujacic is only here temporarily, and/or that the Clippers free up another roster spot elsewhere, who would the Clippers sign next? In light of this new evidence, the answer is obvious: Zydrunas Ilgauskas who was on the Miami Heat team that ousted the Celtics in 2011.

(Note: tongue firmly in cheek throughout.)

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