The Lakers are trying to land Nash, though it would have to be via trade and not free agency because they can offer him only $3 million next season, the "mini" mid-level exception.
The Lakers could try to acquire him via the $9-million traded-player exception they received from the Lamar Odom trade last season. Trade exceptions are hard to explain, but the Lakers would have to entice the Suns to sign Nash for $9 million in the first season of a new contract and then trade him to the Lakers for a draft pick.
With numerous rumors swirling around Dwight Howard, Josh Smith and now Nash, this has to be dizzying for Lakers fans who are trying to keep up and remain optimistic. I thought Advil would suffice this morning, but ESPN and SportsCenter have forced me into a morphine binge.
It was reported earlier by Adrian Wojnarowski of Y! Sports that the Orlando Magic have listed Andrew Bynum as their most coveted prospect in the never-ending saga to move their disgruntled star, Dwight Howard.
As the Orlando Magic work to unload superstar Dwight Howard, management is becoming increasingly focused on a potential trade package centered on Los Angeles Lakers All-Star center Andrew Bynum, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
My mouth is already drooling just thinking about the possibilities.
Imagine a frontcourt that features Josh Smith and Dwight Howard and a backcourt of Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. 'Lob City' would look childish compared to this 4-headed monster. Steve Nash to Dwight Howard. Nash to Kobe Bryant. Nash to Josh Smith. Bryant to Howard etc. etc. I believe you are catching my drift.
Before you fillet me for being a dreamer, let's take a closer look at the necessities needed to bring Nash to L.A.
The first thing that must be accomplished is obvious. Dwight Howard must be wearing the Purple and Gold.
Steve Nash has been offered a contract reported to be 3 years, $36 million by the Toronto Raptors. Why would he take less money to play for a team that is not in a state to contend? The answer is clear, he shouldn't.
It is clear Orlando wants Andrew Bynum, and it is also clear the Lakers must make this deal now as I detailed in a previous column.
Assuming Howard lands in Los Angeles, the Lakers would need to convince the Phoenix Suns to sign Nash to a contract that starts at $9 million the first year. Then, the Lakers would send Phoenix the $9 million trade exception they acquired in the Lamar Odom deal along with free agents, Ramon Sessions, Jordan Hill or Matt Barnes.
This, of course, is contingent on whether one or more of these players would agree to a sign-and-trade deal. Also, Phoenix would more than likely request draft pick(s).
With Lakers management facing mounting pressure for a variety of reasons including Kobe's championship and legacy aspirations, along with fan's expectations, they need to pull the trigger on a deal.
Dwight Howard is the domino that that would push the others into the Laker's lap and a championship into the city's streets. We can dream of purple and gold parades for now, but if Mitch pulls this off, the world will be anticipating Laker glory come June.