Steve Nash has unexpectedly been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers after reports from earlier today suggested the New York Knicks were the frontrunner to sign the All-Star point guard.
Nash will go to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade with the Lakers being able to absorb Nash’s contract because of the trade exception they received when they traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks last year.
Nash is set to sign with the Lakers for three years in a deal worth around $25 million.
The Lakers will receive four draft picks from Phoenix in the deal, first rounders in 2013 and 2015 and second rounders in 2013 and 2014.
The Lakers’ name came up as a possible destination for Nash Tuesday night but then it was rumored Phoenix would not deal Nash to their old nemesis.
The Knicks emerged as the favorite to get Nash today in what would have been their own sign-and-trade sending Iman Shumpert to the Suns.
The Toronto Raptors also went all in on Nash offering him a 3-year, $36 million deal as well as offering Landry Fields a 3-year, $20 million in an attempt to prevent New York from working out a sign-and-trade with the Suns for Fields.
The storyline surrounding the Lakers for much of last season was that they needed a point guard. When they traded for Ramon Sessions it was a big deal. So trading for Nash now is that much bigger of a deal in L.A.
Nash is 38 years old but played some great basketball last season. It will be interesting to see the dynamic between him and Kobe Bryant but you have to figure they will find a way to make it work.
Here is Nash’s statement regarding the trade via ESPN:
For the last 8 seasons I’ve been blessed to play for a team and a city that has embraced me and that I have come to call home. This is a tough business and the only thing constant in life is change.
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. 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.
I couldn’t be more grateful to the organization and Robert in particular. I know how hard this was for him and that fact that he was able to help me and my family in this way … it means a lot and says a lot about his character. I will never forget this gesture. Above and beyond.
The Phoenix Suns are an amazing organization and fans should be excited about their future. I hope the Suns win a championship some day soon for all the amazing fans and wonderful people in the organization.