FanDuel - WFBC

July 05, 2012

Steve Nash headed to Lakers after sign-and-trade with Suns: The Los Angeles Lakers made a significant move that should keep them a contender in the NBA's Western Conference.

On Wednesday, they reached an agreement to acquire point guard and two-time MVP Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal that will send four future draft picks and $3 million in cash to the Suns.

posted by BornIcon to basketball at 07:00 AM - 26 comments

So that team may score a few points.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:40 AM on July 05

I know draft picks in the NBA aren't always valuable, but 4 picks for an old man seems like a lot.

posted by bperk at 10:02 AM on July 05

The Suns will receive first-round picks in 2013 and 2015 and second-round picks in 2013 and 2014 plus $3 million in cash from the Lakers.
Seems like a lot for a 38 year old. Not to mention the $9mil/yr for the next 3 years.

posted by DudeDykstra at 10:11 AM on July 05

Toronto fans are pretty upset, but I don't know how they can be. Nash wants a ring and the Raptors, well, they suck.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:27 AM on July 05

I know draft picks in the NBA aren't always valuable, but 4 picks for an old man seems like a lot.

Because Nash is still one of the top assists guy in the NBA and the Lakers' current point guard corps are near the bottom.

posted by NoMich at 10:47 AM on July 05

So the Lakers now have a guy who will pass the ball.

But ... how often will he have the ball in his possession to pass?

Draft picks the Suns get will be mid to late first round. Not a big win for either team.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:47 AM on July 05

Age means something different when it comes to Nash. His advanced stats are still through the roof, which likely means that the reason his numbers aren't MVP worthy anymore (though they are still really good) is b/c his teams around him were terrible.

If you get two high gear years from him, I think it is worth it. LAL can't trade Kobe, so they've only got a couple years before they will have to start over anyway, so I think it was a great move. I think b/c Nash has spent the last few years in basketball purgatory, some have forgotten how good he is. The questions I have are more about how he fits on that particular team, and if they are done making moves. Of course having said all this, he will now average 8-8 for a month and then re-injure his back.

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:25 PM on July 05

Dammit, Steve. I want to root for you but I don't want to root for the Lakers.

Does Kobe have enough respect for Nash to let him dominate the ball? If Nash is on your team he has to run the offense on nearly every possession he's out there or it's just not worth the defensive liability. I'll be impressed with Kobe if he can adjust to playing without the ball more often and I don't doubt he'll do it.

I am drooling over the Nash/Pau PnR possibilities.

posted by tron7 at 12:29 PM on July 05

I'll be impressed with Kobe if he can adjust to playing without the ball more often and I don't doubt he'll do it.

This is the more interesting part of this trade to me: Kobe recruited Nash hard. Surely he knows how Nash plays, so I'm really interested to see how they play together, because I think you raise a good point tron7.

My guess is that they will also run some PnR between the two of them, and that with Kobe's declining athleticism he might be willing to embrace more spot up opportunities. He takes a lot of jumpers now anyway.

posted by brainofdtrain at 12:37 PM on July 05

Does Kobe have enough respect for Nash to let him dominate the ball?

It wouldn't surprise me if Kobe recognizes he's getting older and that running every possession through him is taking its toll. Surviving the regular season is more of a grind when you're a vet and I suspect he's understanding that more.

That and Nash may get him a lot more easy baskets, something Kobe hasn't had in years. If Nash can ignite Gasol, play well with Bynum and they can snag Grant Hill, Kobe might get a little breathing room.

posted by dfleming at 03:01 PM on July 05

If Kobe can play without the ball, if Nash and Kobe put some emphasis on getting Bynum and Gasol the ball when they need it they could be real good.

I'm not banking on it. They could have been real good with the team they already had but didn't place emphasis on working any mismatches or for that matter anything other than Kobe 1 on 1. He is the best 1 on 1 player in the league, but you aren't going to win without more diversified offensive production.

posted by cixelsyd at 04:15 PM on July 05

hey could have been real good with the team they already had but didn't place emphasis on working any mismatches or for that matter anything other than Kobe 1 on 1.

Nash and Gasol are two of the best individual pick and roll players in the game. Putting them together is going to be a huge mismatch for most teams.

posted by dfleming at 04:29 PM on July 05

If they win one championship, it's worth it.

I can't help but think this is great for the Lakers. It allows Kobe to play without the ball which I think he'd embrace more at this stage in his career. He knows he can't be isolating against the best wing guys in the league anymore. Gasol, Bynum, Nash and Bryant is as good a starting lineup as anyone else - and it's a good match-up against the Thunder. They're going to light up most teams with that front court/back court combo.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:59 PM on July 05

He knows he can't be isolating against the best wing guys in the league anymore.

No way. He'll be out of the league 10 years and still think he could iso anybody in the association. Though, I agree with what I think your larger point is that Kobe will allow Nash to have the ball as he regards Nash's offensive game as highly as he does his own.

posted by tron7 at 06:14 PM on July 05

It allows Kobe to play without the ball which I think he'd embrace more at this stage in his career. He knows he can't be isolating against the best wing guys in the league anymore.

I can't ever see Kobe embracing that role. If he did and learned to play off the ball he'd extend his career, make All Stars out of Gasol and Bynum, and raise the Lakers to serious contenders, but I just can't see it.

I've always criticized Kobe because he is a selfish player. Having said that, there isn't a single player in the NBA I'd rather have the ball in isolation in a clutch situation today. If the Lakers can adopt a style similar to the Celtics and can force isolation via the offense he'll be as dangerous as ever.

Reality is they'll still need to get Kobe "his" or there will be no happiness in Laker land.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:13 PM on July 05

You guys have Kobe all wrong. He cares mostly about his sixth championship. His confidence and selfishness are not eclipsed at this stage of his career by his savvy.

This move wasn't made without his express written consent. He wanted this. He knows what it means to the offense. Nash gives him the perfect excuse to not have to work as hard handling the ball. Kobe would rather give up the ball at the top of the key if it means a better chance at that championship. The Jordan championship.

Kobe knows he shot 43% last year. Kobe knows that Durant and Westbrook can make him look old. Kobe knows exactly how many points he needs to pass Kareem. Kobe knows that this is point guard league now. This move is entirely evidence of his acquiescence to these realities.

And he still is taking the last shot. Nothing suggests this has to change.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:04 AM on July 06

If the Lakers can adopt a style similar to the Celtics

The Celtics get by with defense. I don't know that anyone wants to ape their offensive style.

posted by yerfatma at 09:17 AM on July 06

His confidence and selfishness are not eclipsed at this stage of his career by his savvy.

His savvy is for real but there is no way it surpasses his confidence. I don't think Kobe is selfish, I think he has a lot of contempt for his teammates at times. He's not shooting those hero balls to pad his stats, he's shooting them because he's frustrated with Pau, Bynum, and whichever other stiffs they had out on the floor at the time.

Nash gives him the perfect excuse to not have to work as hard handling the ball.

Totally agree. Steve is just too undeniably talented for Kobe to think, "Fuck these guys, I'll do it myself." A phrase I feel has went through his head about a million times on the post-Shaq teams.

this is point guard league now.

I've heard this a lot lately and don't agree. There are a lot of really good point guards right now but I don't see many of them winning championships. The pg position is certainly important but I don't think you can call it their league until some really good ones string a few championships together.

posted by tron7 at 10:07 AM on July 06

You guys have Kobe all wrong

If you are correct then the Lakers certainly have all of the pieces, as they did last year, to challenge. But I'm pretty sure we'll see many moments when Kobe is yelling at Nash for taking a shot / making a pass / etc that doesn't involve Kobe just as he has with Shaq, Gasol, Bynum, and a long list of others.

The Celtics get by with defense. I don't know that anyone wants to ape their offensive style.

Agreed. My point was the Celtics do an excellent job of setting up 1 on 1 isolations for Pierce and Garnett. The Lakers offense is Kobe with the ball trying to create something for himself. Defenses know he doesn't want to give up the ball so they double team him and force him into tougher shots; they are not concerned he will create opportunities for other players because he doesn't have that focus. Isolation would benefit his game greatly.

Speaking of defense, the Lakers will need to score a shirtload of points if they go with a lineup that includes Nash and Gasol. I can hardly wait to see those 2 matched up against Durant and Westbrook ... not going to be pretty for the Lakers.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:04 AM on July 06

Never underestimate Kobe or the Lakers. They know what it takes and never are willing to settle for just being a contender. Smart move on their part and if I were OKC, I would be thinking that getting back to the finals is automatic. It won't be easy.

posted by Atheist at 11:21 AM on July 06

I meant that to read " I wouldn't be thinking ....

posted by Atheist at 12:02 PM on July 06

It seems here in LA the Dwight Howard rumors are beginning to pick up. If we trade Bynum for Howard. Kobe, Nash, Howard, Gasol could be tough to beat and create a little resistance for the numerous rings those Miami guys are counting on. Even if it doesn't happen, Bynum may be enough if his game keeps improving.

posted by Atheist at 02:07 PM on July 06

Bynum for Howard? How is that a fair trade?

posted by bperk at 03:41 PM on July 06

Bynum for Howard? How is that a fair trade?

I think it is more of a "this is the best we can get back" trade if you are ORL. At least, that's the school of thought from the talking heads that I follow the closest.

posted by brainofdtrain at 08:49 PM on July 06

Bynum for Howard? How is that a fair trade?

It's not, but Orlando is being backed into a corner where any team that trades for Howard has little to no chance to sign him long-term unless it's the Nets. The Nets are in a precarious situation where they have few assets that Orlando might want and cannot eat the bad salaries of Turkoglu and/or Richardson in the process. They can offer picks, but mid-to-low first rounders with Howard on the team are not worth that much unless you bundle a ridiculous number of them.

The Lakers' asset in Bynum is an NBA-ready young, big man with oodles of talent. They don't have picks anymore, but could swap contracts (Metta) and eat Turkoglu's deal in the process. They would get a big man to work around and a lot of salary cap space, something they really need to rebuild. The Lakers with Howard might be good enough that he forgets the Nets and signs long-term.

No team at this point is going to give a fair return for Howard; 29/30 have information that they're getting one season from him before he goes to free agency. Without a sign and trade or contract extension possible, you're essentially talking a rental player, which is not the kind of thing you give up franchise youngsters and picks for.

posted by dfleming at 07:52 PM on July 07

I agree with dfleming, Orlando isn't going to get anybody equal to Howard, and the only team with something valuable to give that Orlando needs is LA. Bynum is a young and proven big man you can build a team around. While he may not be Howard, he is a substantial building block and Orlando has their backs against the wall as Howard is going anyway and they can wind up with little or nothing. If Bynum plays to his potential Orlando doesn't loose that much.

Frankly there are lots of folks here in Laker land who would be upset at that trade. While Howard is a marquee player, he is just coming off back surgery and it is not a certainty that he will be the same player he once was. Also Bynum is younger and has some areas of his game where he is actually better than Howard. The argument here is that Howard's experience may prove more valuable now for an immediate run at the title. With an aging Kobe and Nash, look for the Lakers to shoot their wad now for the best chance in the last years of Kobe and Nash. We will be rebuilding in a couple of years anyway. Bynum's exit may be regretted in the future but for now, Howard, Gasol, Kobe, and Nash on the floor seems like a very formidable team. Put Bynum in that line up instead of Howard and we don't loose that much although I do feel Howard is the better of the two now.

posted by Atheist at 02:14 PM on July 09

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