The LA Lakers made a big move to top off the 4th of July holiday by acquiring future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns.
One of the biggest problems the Lakers have suffered from over the past few seasons has been their weakness at the point guard position. Working out a deal for Nash is about as good an improvement there is.
With two MVP awards under his belt from his days in Phoenix where he lead an average-at-best group to the Western Conference Finals in back-to-back seasons in 2005 and 2006, Nash brings an uncanny ability to facilitate and direct on the basketball court. Nash may be able to help balance out the Lakers’ lack of depth on the bench by making his teammates around him better.
There is still a huge red flag with Nash being 38 and very close to the end of his career. With Kobe Bryant (33) and Metta World Peace (32) also over the age of 30, the Lakers projected starting lineup of Nash, Bryant, World Peace, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum is getting up there in age.
This move is good for the short term but in two years, the Lakers will be right back in the same position they were in last year–at home watching the later rounds of the playoffs on TV instead of playing in them. The Lakers still sit behind the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder for the top spot in the conference who have made their own improvements this off-season most notably the drafting and signing of projected lottery pick Perry Jones III.
The Lakers are certainly not the favorite to come out of the Western Conference but this trade was definitely a start.
Now if only they could work out a deal for Dwight Howard. . .