This offseason, veteran point guard Steve Nash will test the free agency market as he continues the search for his first NBA Championship. Although a number of teams have sprouted up as potential suitors, one of the most interesting options is the Los Angeles Lakers.
With the recent loss of Ramon Sessions to free agency, the Lakers are in desperate need of help at the point guard spot. Although their resources with which to sign Nash are limited, there’s a good chance that the savvy veteran could choose to take less money to join a team with a real shot at chasing the title.
If he were to join the Lakers, Nash would likely be signed under the $3.09 million mid-level exception for taxpaying teams. It’s nowhere near the type of money that other teams could offer, but it would give Nash a legitimate shot at finding his first ring.
The two-time NBA MVP has a number of teams in the mix to acquire his services, including the Phoenix Suns (his current team), New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors. The Suns have reportedly offered him $20 million over the next two seasons, which could be too good a deal to pass up. The Knicks would more than likely only be able to offer the veteran minimum ($1.35 million), which could take them out of the race early. Toronto has the money to pay Nash basically whatever he wants while also providing him with the opportunity to return to his native country of Canada, but offer less in the way of a supporting cast.
What makes the Lakers a viable option is the chance to play alongside the likes of Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum. In Los Angeles, Nash would have the immediate opportunity to play for a championship. They’ve been missing a facilitating point guard who can also spread the floor with consistent perimeter shooting, and Nash fits the bill.
Even at 38-years old, Nash surprisingly still possesses the flashy athleticism that has allowed him to become one of the best passers in NBA history. This past season, he averaged 10.7 assists per game for the Suns while shooting 53.2 percent from the field. No matter his age, the Lakers could certainly benefit from that type of production.
It’s a longshot that the Lakers find a way to persuade Nash into coming to L.A. for less money, but it might just be crazy enough to become a reality if his desire for a ring is deep enough.