When Steve Nash first was traded to the Lakers for draft picks and cash last summer, expectations of the team’s performance immediately shot through the roof. The addition of Dwight Howard made Lakers fans envision a two-man game that would be dominant. Even when Mike D’Antoni was hired, there was the thought that the magic that ran through their days together in Phoenix would make its way to downtown Los Angeles.
However, adjustments that had to be made to Nash’s game seemed harder to sort out than expected, that two-man game between him and Dwight never took off and the connection between him and D’Antoni wasn’t the same. On top of all that, Nash was hampered for the vast majority of the season with serious injuries.
A lot of Lakers fans are now believing that perhaps the fans and management put too many eggs in Nash’s 39-year old basket. The team needs to get younger, faster and more defensive-minded, especially at the point guard position, at least based on this past season.
Nash cannot be amnestied since he wasn’t on the Lakers roster when the current CBA was signed and became official. While many believe the Lakers will use their one-time amnesty clause (most likely on Metta World Peace), the Lakers will be looking for ways to relieve some of the financial hardships placed on them via luxury tax penalties.
Therefore, an individual asked CBA guru Larry Coon the following question and used a trade to the Raptors as an example:
Q; Can the Lakers trade Steve Nash to Toronto, say for Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross, rather than waiving him?
A: Let’s assume they could. Lowry could be waived, and his guarantee of $1 million would be on the books. Ross is on the books for $2.7 million — so that’s $3.7 million total, Waiving & stretching Nash leaves $3.8 million on their books — hardly any savings at all.
So this idea already adds an additional contingency to our unlikely scenario where all these other pieces have to fall together, making it even more unlikely. And even if it does work, the trade idea is further constrained by the requirement that the Lakers would have to find a trade that brings back significantly less than $3.8 million.
While this scenario seems unlikely, Steve Nash is not assuming or under the impression that he won’t return in purple and gold next season. During his exit interview a couple of weeks ago, Nash already stated that he will be back to complete health by training camp.
While trimming from their salary cap and obtaining players with youth, athleticism and defensive skills is a desire for the Lakers, it is a very challenging and difficult thing to find, especially for younger players who are after the highest price.
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