Should the Los Angeles Lakers Move Steve Nash?

By Eric N. Ellington
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

When they landed Steve Nash last year, I was almost certain the Los Angeles Lakers would be competing for a world title. Clearly, I was severely mistaken. I was hoping the Lakers had landed the two-time MVP Nash, but what they received was a shell of that player.

Nash was hampered by injuries all season long, and he never looked healthy while missing a career high 32 games this season. His numbers also reflected diminished productivity. Nash averaged 12.7 points per game, second worst since the 1999-2000 season. He also didn’t distribute the rock as usual either — only averaging 6.7 assists per game, his lowest output in over 13 years.

Mike D’Antoni waited all year to get his star quarterback in the starting lineup. His costly mistake ruined the Lakers’ momentum and Steve Blake‘s as well.  Nash admitted to being under 100% and clearly wasn’t ready to return, especially as a starter.

What more does the 39-year old point guard have to give? The 6-foot-3 Canadian guard has played 17 seasons and had a Hall of Fame career. Nash is also the fourth oldest player in the NBA behind only Kurt Thomas, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd. Unfortunately he’s under contract for the next two seasons.

Nash has lost nearly all of his speed and quickness, and he is a huge defensive liability. He couldn’t run the seven-second or less offense even if he wore a pair of skates.

Even if Nash does have a great start to next season, there is no guarantee his body will hold up through the grueling 82-game season, much less the playoffs. We witnessed a similar situation on how Kidd, New York Knicks reserve, broke down this year and ended up scoring zero points in his final playoff series with the Indiana Pacers.

If the Lakers want to seriously contend for the NBA Title next year, they will need to insert some youth in the starting lineup.

Both Kobe Bryant and Nash were taken in the 1996 NBA Draft. Bryant was drafted 13th by the Charlotte Hornets and then traded to the Lakers, and Nash was picked 15th by the Phoenix Suns.

Eric N. Ellington covers the Los Angeles Lakers for Rant Sports. Follow him at @EricNEllington

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