Nash believes tonight vs. Dallas will be his last game this season. Skeptical he can recover for Sunday vs. Clippers + Farmar returns soon— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 4, 2014
Per NBCSports' Kurt Helin, "Nash has just not been able to get fully past the nerve root issue that he has battled the last two seasons."
And with no guarantees of future health, it's a good idea to appreciate any and everything Nash does on the court on Friday.
D'Antoni on this potentially being the last game of Nash's career: "Take a good look, because you're watching one of the greatest PGs ever"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 5, 2014
Counting Friday's game against the Dallas Mavericks, Nash will have played in just 14 games this season, earning an, "outrageous $33,098 per minute" according to the Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus. That's not much bang for the Lakers' buck.
Despite this being a lost season, it's probably not the last season in Purple and Gold for Nash. The organization could theoretically cut him and use a "stretch provision" that would distribute next season's salary over the next three years.
The downside to doing so, however, is that the cap hit in each of the next three seasons would limit L.A.'s flexibility to bring in top-caliber talent in 2015 or 2016.
For his part, Nash said in a Grantland video last month that he intends to return.
“I’m not going to retire because I want the money," he said. "It’s honest. We want honest athletes, but at the same time, you’re going to have people out there saying ‘He’s so greedy. He’s made x amount of money and he has to take this last little bit.’"
And the Lakers appear to be in step according to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan:
For financial reasons, the Lakers currently plan to keep [Nash] next season, The Times has learned, eating the remainder of his contract ($9.7 million) in one swoop instead of waiving him and spreading the money out over three years.
That likely comes as mixed news to Lakers fans. On the one hand, it suggests that the organization won't be looking to sign a premier free agent until the summer of 2015. On the other hand, its chances at landing at least one top-shelf player will probably be better with an improved free-agent class in 2015 that could include Kevin Love.
After playing in just 50 games last season, the Lakers are also looking to get some return on their investment with Nash. Next season could well be the 40-year-old's last, so a meaningful, healthy farewell tour is in order.