Back in July, the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a brilliant move that surprised everyone as GM Mitch Kupchak & Co. were able to acquire two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash from the division rival Phoenix Suns.
With Nash saying a few weeks before the deal that he’d find it hard to wear purple and gold, the chances of him landing in Los Angeles were slim to none with few actually considering it a real possibility.
Even though it was highly unlikely that Nash would be acquired by the Lakers via sign-and-trade, that’s exactly what happened and the rest is history. Now that the eight-time NBA All-Star is officially in the fold in Los Angeles signing a three-year deal with the Lakers, one player that is happier than most is two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol.
As arguably the one player on the current Lakers squad that will benefit the most from having Nash at the point guard position, Gasol is ecstatic about the prospect of playing alongside the eight-time All-Star next season via Marca.com (translation by HoopsHype.com):
“The signing of Nash made me very happy. He is the most unselfish player in the NBA. I’m excited to play with Steve, he brings a lot to the table. He is the most generous player in the NBA.”
With Gasol’s status with the Lakers on shaky ground over the past two seasons, the Spaniard hasn’t been certain whether or not he’d still be in Los Angeles and a part of the revamped roster built by GM Mitch Kupchak over the summer.
It seemed as though the writing was on the wall for Gasol and it was only a matter of time before he’d be traded elsewhere. Fortunately, the Lakers were able to bring in Nash and Dwight Howard without letting go of the four-time All-Star.
Now that Gasol can breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to another season playing on a legitimate NBA title contender, the veteran forward may have the most to prove of any of the big-name Lakers on the squad during the upcoming season. Nash will definitely play a big role in Gasol’s success as the international star could potentially thrive with his Canadian counterpart running the show in the backcourt.
Pick-and-roll plays will be the bread and butter for Nash and Gasol as they should play well with one another, as did Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire a few years back with the Suns. Gasol will almost certainly see a rise in his offensive numbers with Nash running the point.
It will be interesting to see if Gasol can put all the trade rumors and speculation behind him while playing an important role in the Lakers’ efforts to raise a 17th championship banner up into the rafters at Staples Center.
In case you missed it – Lakers Locker Room Talk chats about Lakers/Clippers and the battle for L.A.
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