According to a report by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Lakers do not plan on using the stretch provision on PG Steve Nash.
And, of course, Nash, might be a reserve. The Lakers would have waived him had they signed Anthony and Gasol, but now they’ll eat the final year of his contract in one $9.7-million chunk instead of spreading it out over three years and taking up precious cap space in the summers of 2015 and 2016.
It’s interesting to note that the Lakers would have simply waived Nash if they had signed Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol. However, the Lakers ended up getting neither of those players, so they’ll keep Nash as a reserve guard for this season instead of spreading out his $9.7M contract over the next three seasons.
Nash, 40, will be the oldest player in the NBA next season. Nash will also likely be the backup to new Lakers PG Jeremy Lin.
Nash missed all but 15 games last season while dealing with lingering nerve root irritations and chronic back problems. As he documented in his series on Grantland.com named “The Finish Line”, Nash was pondering retirement as early as the middle of last season. However, he will return, gather his $9.7M, and attempt to play one last season in Los Angeles.
Forgoing the stretch provision on Nash means the Lakers will have greater flexibility in the summers of 2015 and 2016, when their books will be relatively clear once again.