Los Angeles Lakers

Steve Nash Plans to Play Out Contract with LA Lakers

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistNovember 9, 2013

With Pau Gasol struggling under Mike D'Antoni once again and Kobe Bryant (Achilles) stuck watching from the sideline, the Los Angeles Lakers could use some good news.

I'm not sure that this qualifies, though.

Steve Nash, LA's 39-year-old starting point guard, has two seasons—this year and next—left on his contract with the Lakers. As he told CBS Sports' Ken Berger, he plans on seeing that deal through to its end.

"I've got 18 months," Nash told Berger. "So we'll see. Hopefully, I can get through 18 months and contribute and produce."

Just to remove even the perception of confusion, Berger pushed further. Were those 18 months he referenced meant to signify the 2014-15 season as well?

"Yeah, think about it, right?" he said. "That's about 18 months. So I've got to find a way to get through that and prove to myself every day that I can contribute."

Still searching for even more certainty, Berger prodded once more. Could anything get him off the NBA hardwood before next season?

I don't think so. I'm already not the player I want to be and just [have] a different body. My body's different. I'm still trying to adjust and adapt and get my body to accept a certain amount of the pounding and forces and be able to adjust my game and still be productive. I still feel like I've got a lot of life left without basketball so I'm going to try to enjoy it and make the most of these last 18-20 months, whatever it is.

Lakers fans haven't seen the same Nash they thought they were getting when the team plucked him out of the desert in a sign-and-trade swap with the Phoenix Suns last summer. He's played just 55 of a possible 89 regular-season games, serving more as a floor spacer than a setup man.

This season's been particularly rough for the two-time MVP. D'Antoni's preservation plan for his aging floor general has cost Nash two of LA's first seven games. His shooting percentage has plummeted.

He's hitting just 27.9 percent of his shots, more than 20 points below his career average (49.0).

The Lakers are hoping to get what they can out of the $19 million left on his contract; finding anything of value in return seems a near impossible task.

Then again, there might be one team interested in taking Nash off LA's hands.

If Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak doesn't have Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri on the line, that should be a fireable offense.

Nash, a native of Canada, could be a marketing boost for the country's only NBA franchise.

Sadly, that's about all he can be at this stage of his career.

 

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