Cameron Larkin .com

Steve Nash joins the LA Lakers

There is yet another star in Los Angeles.

Look at who Steve Nash is and everything he has accomplished in his career, this move to acquire him by the Lakers from the Phoenix Suns is great.

A two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, from all the suitors in the free agent season, it’s the Lakers that got his talents.

He now joins Kobe and company out in Hollywood. In the sign-and-trade, Nash will get a three-year deal for roughly $25 million or so and in doing so, bypasses the Knicks and Mavericks who were after the star point guard.

In return, the Suns receive four draft picks, two first rounders and two second rounders as well as $3 million in cash.

Nash said when confirming the trade:

“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 LA 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 the team that will make them better, assets they would not have otherwise had. It made sense for them to do a deal that helps their team get better.”

So how did this all come about? Many teams were in the running or at least trying to sign Nash but LA seemed to come from nowhere.

On Tuesday night, Los Angeles front office made a push and saw the potential to get the deal done. The Suns were hesitant at first, however as we now know, they changed their minds and dealt.

Credit needs to go to Suns owner, Robert Sarver. He did what Nash wanted – enabled him to stay close to his family, it is a good place to be and now has a shot at that illusive championship ring. Nash has done so much for the franchise and in the end Sarver felt it was his duty.

With the trade exception from the Lamar Odom trade, they were able to get it through successfully.

The Lakers get Nash basically for free – the picks they gave away won’t be high. This move is only going to benefit the team going forward.

On July 11 when this is officially completed, there will be several bridesmaids looking for a point guard – Dallas, Houston, and Toronto. Phoenix were quick to move and come to agreement with Goran Dragic on a $34 million, four-year deal.

On face value, Nash is one of the best point guards to play the position in the last 10 seasons. He will make the game easier for the big men. He will also take pressure off Kobe as the facilitator with the ball.

There is a challenge in all this though. Head coach Mike Brown will need to work out how to run the offense – modification is required.

Since joining the Suns, Nash was won two NBA MVP awards, been named as an All-Star six times, starred in five playoff appearances and sits fifth all-time in assists with 9,916.

Nash has been the face of the Suns for many years and with Charles Barkley, is in the top two players to play for the franchise. He set the tone, work ethic, built terrific camaraderie in the locker room and just made everyone better.

So let’s get down to the big question. Where are the Lakers? Although an LA fan, I still put the Oklahoma City Thunder at the top of the western conference – ahead of Nash, Kobe, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace.

OKC is younger and they dominated the west last season – they will only improve and so will Kevin Durant. In saying that, Nash is still in the top six or seven point guards in the league and will make the Lakers better – just like he did in Phoenix.

Another advantage is he may well bring Gasol back to where he was a couple of years ago – both on and off the court.

The Nash acquisition may not be the end however for LA. Dwight Howard will certainly rethink a move to the Lakers. If that were to happen, Bynum and a few other elements would be impacted.

Nash is a defensive liability and the only move LA could make is to swap Howard and Bynum – another other player would affect the defensive game and put them at risk of being smashed by OKC or San Antonio pick ‘n’ roll games.

The Lakers are now the only team in the NBA with two league MVPs – Kobe and Nash.

Reaction in LA was that the team is back. The city is back, and total excitement.

The offense last year wasn’t exciting, but with the inclusion of Nash, that is about to change, it will be more diversified and unpredictable.

Exciting times ahead.


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