Back in 2012, Steve Nash was set to be free agent and all signs pointing to the two-time NBA MVP leaving the Phoenix Suns. Two suitors emerged as legitimate contenders to sign Nash in free agency with the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors battling it out for his services.
In a surprising move, the Los Angeles Lakers came out of nowhere and acquired Nash in a sign-and-trade with their division rivals on July 4.
Before Nash was officially dealt to Los Angeles, the Raptors appeared to be the frontrunner to land the veteran point guard. At the same time, Kyle Lowry was on the verge of being traded to the Raptors from the Houston Rockets, but he didn’t want to be Nash’s backup, via Jonathan Abrams of Grantland.com:
“I didn’t want to get traded,” Lowry said. “I knew [Toronto was] trying to get Steve Nash. This is what they said: They wanted Steve Nash to be the point guard for two years and then me learn behind Nash and to get paid and be the starter after Steve called it a career. I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be a backup. You’re not trading for me to be a backup.’ They did the trade anyway, but they didn’t get Steve.”
Ultimately, despite having a poor season in his first year with the Raptors, the move to Toronto has been a game-changer for Lowry. The veteran point guard had a breakout season in last year averaging a career-high 17.9 points and 7.4 assists per game helping led his squad in the playoffs.
As for Nash, the future Hall of Famer has played in only 65 games since being dealt to the Lakers. The trade definitely hasn’t worked out in the Lakers’ favor, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t have been different if he ended up in Toronto instead.
With the 2014-15 NBA season approaching, Nash may have to come off the bench in favor of the recently acquired Jeremy Lin. Nash has let it be known that this will be his last season with the intention of retiring once his contract with the Lakers expires.[divide]
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