Just when you thought the Steve Nash madness during the NBA's free-agency period couldn't get any crazier, it just did. The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns have reportedly agreed to a sign-and-trade that brings Nash to Los Angeles, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Source confirms: The Suns are sending Steve Nash to the Lakers for draft picks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 5, 2012
Update on July 4 at 11:34 p.m. EDT
Here is what Nash had to say in his own words about his newest career venture, courtesy of Marc Stein of ESPN.
"After talking with (owner) Robert (Sarver) and (president of basketball operations) Lon (Babby) we've agreed that it's time for both of us to move in new directions," Nash told ESPN.com. "I approached them and asked if they would be willing to do a sign and trade deal with L.A. because it is very important to me to stay near my children and family.
"They were very apprehensive and didn't want to do it. Fortunately for me, they reconsidered. They saw that they were able to get assets for their team that will make them better, assets they would not have otherwise had and it made sense for them to do a deal that helps their team get better."
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Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports lets us in on the details of Nash's contract with the Lakers and exactly why the Canadian chose Los Angeles:
Nash gets 3-year guaranteed $27 million deal, his agent Bill Duffy tells Y! "He's ecstatic. He gets to be close to his children," Duffy said— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 5, 2012
In the Nash sign-and-trade, the #Suns will get 2013 & 2015 first-round picks and 2013 & 2014 second-round picks.— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) July 5, 2012
Earlier in the day, it was rumored the New York Knicks were the front-runners to nab the future Hall of Famer, but my, how quickly that changed in the course of just hours. Instead of Nash heading to the Big Apple, he's on his way to Hollywood.
Nash spent the last eight seasons in Phoenix, and the majority of that time was spent battling the Lakers. Now, the Suns will be faced with the prospect of playing against Nash in their own division for the foreseeable future.
This trade instantly makes the Lakers championship contenders once again, an expectation that didn't come to fruition last season. Instead, they were viewed as outsiders for much of the strike-shortened campaign as a result of their lack of depth and perimeter talent.
Nash adds an elite point guard to the mix and gives L.A. the floor general they so desperately craved last season. It became necessary for the Lakers to add another point guard after last season's starter, Ramon Sessions, opted out of his contract.
While this move doesn't make an aging roster any younger, it does give the Lakers a huge boost on the offensive end. Now, they won't have to depend on Kobe Bryant to create all the offense, as Nash will open up all sorts of avenues for his teammates to score buckets.