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Report: Lakers quietly enter chase for Steve Nash

Jul 3, 2012, 9:53 PM EDT

Steve Nash Kobe Bryant Getty Images

Can Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant co-exist?

While the gut reaction may be “no, there is only one basketball allowed on the court at any given time” the reality is these are two high hoops IQ players who would do whatever it takes to win another ring. And Kobe would get better looks.

While the thought of Nash in Lakers purple sickens Suns fans, the possibility is not out of the question, the Lakers have entered the chase for Nash, reports David Aldridge at NBA.com.

While the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks have made strong pushes for free agent guard Steve Nash, the Los Angeles Lakers have, quietly, entered the fray for the 38-year-old guard and are making a strong bid to acquire him, according to a league source.

The Lakers, with a payroll already projected in excess of $83 million next season, would only be able to offer Nash an exception starting at $3.09 million for next season. It’s unlikely Nash would take that, so a sign-and-trade deal would be a more realistic possibility.

The deal would likely involve something like Ramon Sessions and Metta World Peace, the report suggests. But basically anyone on the Lakers roster not named Kobe, Gasol and Bynum could be had in this deal.

Still, Nash to the Lakers strikes me as a long shot because you have to imagine other sign-and-trade offers will be better. For Suns fans who might covet Gasol, you’d have to send a whole lot more back to Los Angeles than just Nash in that case, and Jared Dudley ani’t gonna to cut it.

Toronto has made a big push for Nash and it is expected the Mavericks will make a hard run at him now after losing out on Deron Williams.

  1. dickclydesdale - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    LOL no way Nash will take ONLY 3 million to be treated like a minion by Kobe. Nash will get big money elsewhere.
    Lakers are in deep trouble at the PG position.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      This is what happens when you spend $30 million/year on one player. The Lakers have no choice but to stick it out with Kobe, Gasol and Bynum for the next 2 years, unless they trade Gasol for inferior pieces (and most likely will have to take some salaries back as well).

      It’s crazy to think that when Bynum is re-signed, the Lakers could have $70 million tied up in 3 players for 2013/14..how crazy is that?

      • tsi431 - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:59 AM

        Actually his cap hit is only 25.2 million for the 2012-2013 season. Salary cap is not an issue with high market teams, never will be an issue. There are plenty of suitors for Gasol we see the blogs everyday. I would like to keep Gasol however. He is still in the top 20 of all players and if we would use him right, could get even better.

      • loungefly74 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        @tsi431…you are correct. people forget bigger market teams have that advantage to absorb excess penalties/tax. I’m sure the Lakers were very aware years ago when the big contracts were signed what the big picture would be for them…

      • borderline1988 - Jul 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        Except with the new luxury tax penalties coming into play in 2013, even teams like the Lakers are getting scared.

        If my calculations are correct, assuming the Lakers’ payroll stays at $83 million (i know there are some salaries coming off the books, but kobe, gasol and bynum will be on the books through 2013/14) and the luxury tax line stays around $70 millon, that amounts to them being $13 million over the limit. As of now, they are paying a dollar for dollar tax, meaning they pay a $13 million penalty for having an $83 million payroll.

        Starting in 2013, at the same numbers, that penalty will jump to about $26 million. (Let me know if my calculations are incorrect…). If the Lakers are to be considered repeat offenders, the penalty would jump to almost $37 million.

        I do agree that the Lakers have an ability to absorb luxury tax fines more than other teams, but you can’t tell me that Lakers ownership is going to toss away an additional $20 million for nothing.

        This is why the Lakers are going to be desperate to move Pau Gasol midway through the season, especially if the Lakers aren’t finishing in the top-3 of the conference. And the Lakers won’t get much for Gasol, b/c everyone knows they will be desperate. Houston is smart to bide its time here.

        They aren’t allowed to give Nash more than the $3 million exception anyways, since they are above the salary cap.

  2. adlent - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Nash should go back to Dallas and ride off into the sunset with Dirk.

  3. ccshocktalk - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Kobe, Pau, Nash, Bynum….that would be sick!

  4. charlutes - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Ridiculous, they can coexist.

  5. ajpurp - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Nash has not won a ring, hence he cannot win another.

    • lyndseymarieee - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:08 PM

      But if he would’ve said “to win A ring”, someone may have said “but Kobe already has a ring.” Journalists just can’t win.

  6. buffalo65 - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    He’s already a Raptor

  7. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    The Knicks gutting their entire bench and the Fields offer sheet is more palatable than anything the Lakers would offer.

  8. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Blanks loves Marshall so much because of the way Blanks played wide open ball at Texas. That’s how the Suns are gonna run — not the way they did with Nash, but just a bunch of wing guys like UNC had last year. It could work. One area Fields EXCELS is in the open court.

    • gmen4life33 - Jul 4, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Fields is in TOR…

  9. isujames - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Yea they would be sick after a second round loss to the Spurs or Thunder.

    • ccshocktalk - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      If you honestly think that Kobe with Nash, Bynum, and Pau would lose in the second round to either the spurs or OKC than you don’t really know much about Nash of Kobe. Nash wants his first ring, Kobe wants his 6th…two amazing athletes pushing each other…anything can happen.

  10. gmsalpha - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Since when is Nash 38 years old?

    • sdlakerfan - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:13 PM

      from nba.com:

      Steve Nash – #13 Phoenix Suns
      Position: G
      Born: 02/07/1974
      Height: 6-3/1,91
      Weight: 178 lbs./80,7 kg
      College: Santa Clara

      38 yrs old by my math.

  11. hoodheisman - Jul 3, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    A couple seasons ago, Kobe pushed for the Lakers to trade Bynum for Nash. This past year, D. Howard wanted Orlando to make a play for Nash. The Lakers also have Dallas’ trade exception. The pieces are in place for this to work if Nash thinks his best chance to win a title will be with Kobe and D.Howard.

  12. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    they could compeletely play together. absolutely. Kobe gets the ball with a minute left and nash controls it the rest of the time, with him making sure Kobe gets his isos. it ain’t that hard. this would work.

    • badintent - Jul 4, 2012 at 12:05 AM

      No, this ain’t gonna work, never has, never will. Just ask his assholeness MJ . With MJ Ballhog 2 kobe, Nash will throw the ball to Metta just to spite KobeBallhogg.So says Boss Hogg, now I’m gonna get me some Jessica I mean Daisy. Bryum will get his touches in the first half, Kobe will blow a fuse watching and go JackCity in the second half. Shaq was right, “Kobe hijacked the O”.Oh the drama.The best thing about the Fakers will be Jack raising his eyebrows every time Kim K. walks past him to the powder room.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      There is no conversation about what works with Kobe.

      Kobe does his own thing on the basketball court. Always has and always will. His game will not change much if Nash was on the Lakers, besides that he’d probably take fewer shots. To coexist with Kobe, it’s more about a mental thing than what you physically do on the court. Basically just pass him the ball when he wants it.

      But what Nash would do for Gasol and Bynum?? That’s a different story. Those would be unstoppable pick and rolls. It would be lethal.

      We all know that the Lakers’ biggest weakness is the flow of their offense…Too often, the ball doesn’t get to their bigs in the right places, Kobe then tries to take over, and the offense becomes stagnant. They have difficulty scoring, Gasol starts to slouch and doesn’t really get within the flow, and Bynum starts to pout.

      However, when Nash is on your team, the offense is never stagnant. If it is, just give him the ball, and run some pick and rolls with Gasol or Bynum. He would constantly keep them involved. Honestly, the Lakers would be front-runners for an NBA championship with a healthy Nash.

  13. lakerluver - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    It could absolutely work. In fact, I believe Nash and Kobe would be an awesome backcourt. Kobe never has had a true pg to run with. I love D. Fish but he was not a true pg.

  14. wfon1 - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Like we’re not old enough already. Cmon Lakers.

  15. wjmoffatt - Jul 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Gordan Drajic is a better move for LA, they won’t get Nash so they should be more worried about going after him instead.

  16. congocash - Jul 4, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Bad idea…Nashs defense is worse than fishers was… And fisher is younger. Lakers need to get cp3 in 2 years… Just wait for cp3 and deal away gasol to stay under the cap.

  17. minnesotablizzard - Jul 4, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Reading between the lines I think David Kahn will get involved as a 3rd party in this trade

  18. gabebigtuesday - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:29 AM

    NYN, THE RAPS, SUNS and MAVS don’t have a championship even close, if Nash wants a ring he needs to only consider places that contend i.e. LAL or the HEAT(s) i love u Obama

  19. clownsfan - Jul 4, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    Having Mike Brown as your HC isn’t helping the Lakers either.

  20. omniusprime - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Nash should retire, he’s just too old. The Lakers would be totally stupid to take on an old geezer like Nash. We just got rid of one senior citizen point guard so why make the mistake of bringing in this perennial loser from Phoenix? The Lakers need a young premier point guard to keep up with the other young premier point guards, something old geezer Fisher couldn’t do nor can Nash.

  21. tsi431 - Jul 4, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    I thought Sessions was a free agent?

  22. franchiseplaya - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    its weird. i love nash. i hate the lakers. a part of me kinda wants to see this happen though.

  23. gbr437 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    I agree with the goran dragic comment. He was a perennial pg in pheonix and the sole reason that kyle lowry wants out of houston. Goran can play the position just as well as nash but with slightly better defense. And he’s much younger. He’s deadly when it comes to the pick n roll. I mean could you imagine goran running the pick n roll with either gasol or bryant?! Itd be a thing of beauty! Goran dragic should be LA’s focal point. Not Nash!

  24. lalfan2323 - Jul 4, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Bench players is what we need not starters wtf are they thinking mike brown go home

  25. davidly - Jul 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    With Sessions it’d have to be a sign-sign and trade, and that ain’t gonna happen. Nash ‘ll hafta be willing to take less dough. Anyway, since the Lakers can’t run with the Thunder, they need to keep the front line in tact and try to beat them that way.

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