Nash cashes in: Joins the Lakers in sign-and-trade
The Lakers have spent two years trying to make a blockbuster trade. Now, they have finally done it.
They have found their point guard of the future in 38-year-old Steve Nash. I’m just guessing, but I’d say the future is now for the Lakers.
In a sign-and-trade deal that won’t be official until July 11th, the Lakers went two first round and two second round draft picks to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Nash. Nash, in turn, agreed to a three-year deal worth $27 million.
This addresses a glaring need for Los Angeles at the point guard position. Ramon Sessions was brought in last season, but failed to live up to expectations. He opted out of his contract last month, and is not expected to be brought back. Steve Blake will again be in the fold, but while he is an okay passer; he lacks the precision, creativity, scoring ability and leadership of Nash.
Steve Nash is a two-time MVP, beating out Kobe Bryant for the award on both occasions. His Phoenix Suns also knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs in both 2006 and 2007. Still, Bryant reached out to Nash to see if the two could co-exist. While the answer remains to be seen, it does look promising.
In effect, by completing this trade, the Lakers finally are able to justify trading Lamar Odom last season. Without the trade exemption acquired from Dallas in that deal, the Nash move could have never happened. Odom for nothing looked pretty bad. Odom for Nash, not so much.
Speaking of Lamar Odom. It is possible that him moving to the Clippers helped to force the Lakers into a move. The Clippers are quickly becoming the darlings of LA. With hope fading and their window closing, the Lakers had to make a move to stay on par. The Clipper announced they will re-sign Chauncey Billups and bring in Jamal Crawford today. The battle for LA is far from over, but at least now the Lakers have a chance of winning again.
In fact, along with the Oklahoma Thunder, I would say that both Los Angeles clubs are amongst the elite teams in the Western Conference. The Lakers still have tremendous size up front. Their starting lineup now has 28 all-star appearances amongst them. And they finally have an elite facilitator, who can better spread around the ball. Nash will also take significant pressure off of Bryant, who was relied on too heavily last season. Not only will Nash get everyone better looks, he is also a great shooter, hitting 43% of his three-pointers in his career.
Age may be a factor, as only Andrew Bynum is under 30 in the Lakers starting lineup; but all this means is they don’t have time to waste. Their window of opportunity is right now. Jack Nicholson may see himself sitting courtside at the NBA finals next season.
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