Lakers Acquire Steve Nash from Suns


In one of the more surprising deals to kick of the 2012-2013 NBA offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have completed a sign-and-trade deal that acquires point guard Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns. It’s a dream deal for Los Angeles, who exchanges cash and first and second round picks from 2013- 2015 for the two-time MVP. The terms of the sign-and-trade is a three- year contract in excess of over $27 million. As of this week, the Toronto Raptors and the New York Knicks were said to be the frontrunners for Nash’s services, with Los Angeles barely in the picture. Ultimately, Nash’s decision came down to the fact that he could be close to his children in Phoenix and contend for a championship playing with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.

The 38-year-old Nash isn’t the MVP-caliber player he once was, but he’s still one of the game’s best point guards. Averaging 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game last year, Nash’s arrival fixes the Lakers’ recent struggles at the point guard position. The future Hall of Famer has always made the teammates around him better and now that he is paired with the talents of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum, the Lakers have added the biggest missing link in their effort to regain the Western Conference.

The addition of Steve Nash to the Lakers completely changes the dynamic for this team on offense. A master of the pick-and-roll, Nash will now have the option of kicking it to Bryant and Gasol for open midrange shots or driving down the lane and lobbing it up to Bynum. A 39% three-point shooter last season, he is capable of knocking down shots consistently. His play-calling and court vision dictate the flow of the game like very few point guards can do. Lastly, Nash is one of the most unselfish players in the game and can create shots for just about anyone on his team. This will help take pressure off of Kobe’s ball-handling and scoring obligations that seem to hurt the Lakers at times.

Although this is a great trade for L.A., the Lakers perimeter defense is still their biggest weakness. While he undoubtedly bolsters the roster, Nash doesn’t do much on the defensive side and never really has. With back ailments and increasing age, don’t expect anything to change once he puts on the purple and gold. With an aging Bryant, whose ALL-NBA defensive team days are behind him, the duo makes for one of the weaker defensive backcourts in the league.

Much credit has to be given to Steve Nash for making this deal happen. Many players talk about taking less money in their pursuit of a championship, but very few follow through with it. With two MVPs to his name, Nash knew that the Larry O’ Brien trophy would further cement his storied legacy. Earlier in the free agency period, Nash himself said it would be hard to see himself in a Lakers uniform because of all hard-fought playoff battles between Phoenix and Los Angeles. Ultimately, the opportunity to stay close to his family and compete for a ring drove Steve Nash to join the Lakers. And with that, I think it’s safe to say that all Laker fans are excited about this move and can’t wait to see Kobe, Steve, and the rest of the Lakers in action this season.