The Lakers and Phoenix Suns agreed on a sign-and-trade sending Nash to Los Angeles; Nash will be given a three-year deal worth an estimated $27 million. The Lakers, can absorb Nash into the trade exception created when they dealt Lamar Odom to Dallas Mavericks last December, despite being well over the luxury tax levels.
Phoenix will receive four picks from the Lakers – two picks in the first round(2013, 2015) and then two in the second (2013, 2014) round.
The biggest question about this team (that now has 4 former All-Star starters) is who will dominate the ball? Kobe Bean Bryant or Steve Nash. Nash reportedly thought it was crucial to talk to Kobe on the phone before agreeing to the sign and trade.
“For me, it was important to speak to him and make sure he was completely on board, and that he could kind of visualize this as being a good fit, and being excited about it. So I spoke to him,” Nash told Max Kellerman and Mychal Thompson on 710 ESPN. “Kobe, he was great. He was excited, and explained to me how he thought it would help, and why he thought it would be great, and I think a lot of the reasons he had were ones I could already envision before speaking to him.”
A lot of those reasons are well thought out by the well spoken Nash; Nash envisions that he and Kobe can help extend each others’ careers and help each other get easy baskets.
“Kobe is still one of the all-time great players in this game. I hope he does have the ball in his hands a lot,” Nash said. “But at the same time, I think it takes pressure off him as someone else can handle the ball, and get him the ball in spots. Maybe get him a few more easy baskets and at the same time maybe create offense for other guys so he’s not stuck so often having to take on one or two defenders.”
Nash also believes he can get Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum clean looks at the basket as well. Remember, Steve Nash has never played with two All Star big men in his career. Nash envisions being able to help not only Kobe get easy looks, but the big men as well.
“Perhaps we can all make each other better because of our different skills. Maybe I can space the floor for those big guys (Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum), maybe they’ll create opportunities for me on pick and rolls because of their length and ability to finish at the rim, and that combination will hopefully make it a little easier for Kobe as well.”
It is an added bonus for Nash, too, that not only will he be playing for a contender, but he will also stay close enough to Phoenix to see his three children. I wish Nash good luck; I don’t know if I respect another player in the NBA’s game and longevity more than Nash, and he deserves this chance at making a run at a championship.
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