Steve Nash Is a Laker
Kobe Bryant once said that Steve Nash is the best shooter in the NBA. Now Nash will be teaming up with Bryant as the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns agreed on a sign-and-trade deal.
Nash will receive a three-year deal worth $27 million while the Suns will receive 2013 and 2015 first-round draft picks and 2013 and 2014 second-round draft picks. The deal cannot be finalized until July 11 when a moratorium on new deals is lifted.
The 38-year old point guard has stated over the last several months that he wanted to go to a team that had a chance to win a championship. According to various sources, Kobe gave the final appeal that nudged Nash towards the Lakers over the New York Knicks. Also Nash's agent Billy Duffy told USA Today that Nash wanted to be close to his three children. I suppose that will ease the discomfort of having to put on a Lakers jersey.
According to Nash in a statement released after the deal was publicized:
After talking with (owner) Robert (Sarver) and (president of basketball operations) Lon (Babby) we've agreed that it's time for both of us to move in new directions. I approached them and asked if they would be willing to do a sign and trade deal with L.A. because it is very important to me to stay near my children and family. They were very apprehensive and didn't want to do it. Fortunately for me, they reconsidered. They saw that they were able to get assets for their team that will make them better, assets they would not have otherwise had and it made sense for them to do a deal that helps their team get better.
I couldn't be more grateful to the organization and Robert in particular. I know how hard this was for him and that fact that he was able to help me and my family in this way ... it means a lot and says a lot about his character. I will never forget this gesture. Above and beyond.
The Lakers were able take Nash's contract because of the trade exception that was created when they traded Lamar Odom back in December. So the ridiculous they-traded-Odom-for-nothing complaints heard all season long can be ended.
According to ESPN.com, Nash is also trying to recruit 39-year old Grant Hill who is undergoing the "Kobe" treatment in Germany — a platelet-enriched treatment of his knee that is not available int he United States.
So here's a question. Who's going to play defense on the perimeter?