The Good & the Bad of the LA Lakers' Steve Nash Trade

July 5, 2012

The Lakers former Western Conference nemesis will now be wearing purple and gold, as the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns have agreed to a sign-and-trade trade bringing Steve Nash to LA in exchange for two first round and two second round draft picks.

Although Nash should improve the Lakers title chances next season, the deal also brings its share of long-term issues. Here is our first impression take of the good and bad behind the trade:


1) Offensive Flow

The Lakers struggled mightily at times on the offensive end with Derek Fisher and Ramon Sessions running the point. Steve Nash brings creativity to the offense with his superior passing, screen-roll decision-making, and ability to hit the open 3.

Nash's passing will be a plus, but his ability to sink open jump-shots could be an overlooked part of this addition. With the deep threat the Lakers lacked now here, the inside-out game with Bynum and Gasol should flourish.

2) Kobe

This move will motivate Bryant more than ever. Bryant knows that the addition of the two-time MVP will only last for a few years. With the window of opportunity for that 6th championship now opening a bit wider, expect Kobe to be at top form in 2013 with Nash at his side. The former rivals will be trying their absolute best to avoid that championship window from slamming shut on their ring fingers.

More importantly, Nash takes a little pressure off of Kobe, as LA will now have a second player who can create his own shot with the shot clock winding down.

3) Veteran Leadership

Steve Nash will be able to do something Derek Fisher or Ramon Sessions couldn’t do, and its not passing the ball. Nash will be able to teach younger guys like Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelocke how to be pure point guards.

Morris and Goudelocke struggled in 2012 with their decision-making and timing. These kids are still developing, and the 38-year-old Nash will be the perfect tutor.


1) The Price

We now know one thing about the Lakers from the Nash deal -- the organization is not planning to rebuild anytime soon. LA gave up 2013 and 2015 first round picks, along with 2013 and 2014 second rounders.

The organization apparently is very confident of its chances to bring home another Larry O'Brien trophy because it basically traded away its chances to get younger for the future.

Throw in Nash's hefty contract -- reported to be in the neighborhood of $27 million over 3 years -- and it becomes clear that he won't be doing their cap any favors either.

2) Age

Steve Nash is still an upper-echelon point guard, but his age should be a concern. By no means are his stats reflective of his age, but when you gamble so many draft picks for a 38-year-old point guard there’s risk involved. Nash has had a fairly stable career as far as injuries go, but has had back problems late in his career.

Without the services of the Suns exemplary medical staff, will he continue to be the same productive player next season? And what about during the third year of this deal, when Nash is in his forties? Laker fans are holding their breaths and keeping their fingers crossed.

3) Defense

The Lakers added a formidable offensive weapon, but there are still major red flags regarding their defense. The fact remains, All-Star guards like Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, and Chris Paul can still torch the Lakers with Nash manning the point. Thus, this trade failed to solve their most glaring weakness on defense.

By Kareem Arnold
Contributing Writer for The Daily Sports Herald

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