Jul 4, 2012, 8:39 PM EDT
The Los Angeles Lakers just lost out on getting Chris Paul just before last season, but it looks like they now have the point guard that turns them into a contender again. They are now the West Coast superstar team to compete with the Miami Heat.
Multiple sources say the Suns have come to a deal to send Steve Nash to the Lakers for L.A.’s 2013 and 2015 first-round picks and 2013 and 2014 second-round picks
First to report this was John Gambadoro, a Phoenix area radio host who tweeted:
Nash to LA for multiple picks all but done!!!
Sources told ESPN.com that the Nash, with the New York Knicks also pressing hard to complete a simiilar sign-and-trade deal, was swayed to join the Lakers after a determined push from Kobe Bryant and because the move not only keeps him in the title hunt but will allow Nash to stay in close proximity to his three children in Phoenix.
Nash will receive a three-year deal in excess of $25 million, sources said, because the Suns ultimately agreed to sign-and-trade him to the Lakers, who can absorb Nash via the trade exception they created by dealing Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in December.
Being close to his family that is in Phoenix while still being with a contender was “90 percent” of the reason for the decision, Nash’s agent Bill Duffy told Marc Berman of the New York Post.
Nash wanted this and the Suns relented because he stayed with them before, because of the good relationship they had for the past eight years.
Frank Isola, a New York Daily reporter we trust (and NBC Sports Network regular) tweeted this:
One of Steve Nash’s close friends is convinced that he’s ending up with the Lakers. So there’s that. (Will they let him wear Wilt’s No. 13)… I promise to listen to Steve Nash’s friend from now on. He was saying Lakers all day.
We told you recently that the Lakers wanted to get in the Steve Nash sweepstakes. And you can see why the Lakers would want Nash — they have about a three-year window with Kobe Bryant, and you put Nash with Kobe and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and suddenly the Lakers are right there with the Heat (and the Thunder). After two years of second round exits the Lakers are title contenders.
By moving their picks the Lakers have sold out to win now. Which is the smart play for them. They are maximizing a championship window.
This deal seemed like a long shot because we knew Suns fans would want to hang owner Robert Sarver in effigy. At least. And reports had the Raptors offering $12 million and the Knicks closing in on a deal. The Lakers seemed to be on the outside.
However, it is a reality. Nash likely steps into the nearly $9 million trade exception the Lakers had from moving Lamar Odom a year ago.
And somewhere, Kobe Bryant is smiling.
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