ESPN's Marc Stein first broke the story:
Just going up online & via SportsCenter: Sources say Suns have consented to sign-and-trade Steve Nash to Lakers for package of future picks— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 4, 2012
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the story:
Source confirms: The Suns are sending Steve Nash to the Lakers for draft picks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 4, 2012
The deal is one that seems to benefit both sides. ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports: "The Suns will receive 2013 and 2015 first-round picks and 2013 and 2014 second-round picks from the Lakers."
Additionally, the Suns will receive a sum of cash, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears:
The Suns get $3 million in the Nash trade.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 4, 2012
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 4, 2012
This bold move is just what the doctor ordered for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant isn't going to be around much longer, and the franchise needed to make the most out of his last few years.
Mitch Kupchak and Co. have surely succeeded.
It seems highly unlikely that the Lakers will be able to make a deal for Dwight Howard now. No matter. Andrew Bynum is going to keep getting better, and his offensive repertoire is far superior to Howard's.
Nash and Bryant in the same backcourt is going to make the Lakers favorites to win the West, alongside the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.
How would you grade this trade?
Nash is significantly better than Ramon Sessions, and he's a proven performer in clutch situations, so we're not likely to see a massive letdown from him in the postseason like we recently did with Sessions.
The one thing I worry about with this deal is that Nash doesn't necessarily fit the mold of head coach Mike Brown's defense-first mentality. If anything, the 38-year-old Nash can be a liability on defense.
In the end, though, Nash's ability to distribute and hit clutch shots outweigh any defensive discrepancies.
Tweets of the Night
Hello Lakers made an apt point here regarding Kobe Bryant and his relationship with GM Mitch Kupchak:
Kobe Bryant said before the summer he had faith in Mitch Kupchak to improve the Lakers. Acquiring Steve Nash proves his point.— HelloLakers (@HelloLakers) July 4, 2012
Suns broadcaster Jon Bloom expresses his frustration about the deal:
#Suns get 4 draft picks and cash in exchange for Steve Nash to the Lakers & people all over Planet Orange just threw up in their mouths— Jon Bloom (@Azbloom) July 4, 2012
Vaugh Fry isn't a fan of the deal, either, and he's pretty sure something's wrong with Kupchak:
Steve Nash has been dealt to the Lakers. In other news there is a missing persons report for GM Mitch Kupchak's perception of age.— Vaughn Fry (@VaughnFry) July 4, 2012
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all your Lakers and NBA news, analysis and instant reaction. There is sure to be much more to come in the wake of this deal.
Where will Jeremy Lin end up?
What's going to happen with Dwight Howard?
We'll keep you updated on all these stories and more as the news continues pouring in.
Have a happy and safe Fourth of July out there.