Denver, CO – While most of America was outside enjoying the festivities of Independence Day, the Lakers and Suns swung a deal that sent 2-time league MVP Steve Nash to So-Cal. This transaction happened very quickly, as even two days ago almost nobody thought this trade was imminent. Los Angeles gave up two future first round picks as well as two future second rounders to acquire the 38 year old point guard. The impact of Nash becoming teammates with Kobe and his crew is a big one, which should raise some eyebrows as we head into the 2012-2013 season.
Yes, Steve Nash is 38. And yes, he did just have one of his worst statistical seasons ever. But, on a really poor Phoenix team, he still averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game. Those stats were put together playing with the likes of Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley. No disrespect to them, but they are not quite at the level of Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum. This deal to acquire Nash makes so much sense on so many levels for the Lakers. First and foremost, Kobe has probably two or three years left where he is at an elite level. Remember, he has been in the NBA since the late 90′s, and obviously at some point the wear and tear will start showing up. Bryant has to be grinning from ear to ear today knowing he gets to play in the same backcourt with one of the greatest point guards of all time. Throughout his career, Nash has made average players good, and good ones great. Amare Stoudemire was a borderline superstar in Phoenix, and just hasn’t looked the same since he went to New York. Think that is a coincidence? Nash is one of the smartest players I have ever seen. He knows the game, and knows where to get players the ball and at what time. Has he lost a step or two? Sure. But his smarts combined with now joining a team who has much more talent than his Suns did means he and the Lakers should be a force in the West. This was a brilliant move by Los Angeles, one that ensures Kobe will have a realistic shot at his 6th ring.
What does this mean for our Nuggets and the rest of the West? It’s not good news, that’s for sure. Steve Nash is not going to solve any problems on the defensive end of the court for L.A., but what he brings otherwise will be huge. For the next two or three years, the Lakers can now realistically contend with the Thunder, Spurs, and whoever else. The meat grinder that is the Western Conference just got a bit tougher at the top. I am sure our young Nuggets took note of this trade, and will hopefully motivate them to raise their games beginning now.
Denver Sports by J Simp