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Patient Lakers again wait for right deal, get to chase another ring for Kobe

Jul 5, 2012, 12:28 AM EDT

Kobe nash Getty Images

Trade Pau Gasol. Trade Andrew Bynum and get Dwight Howard. Amnesty Metta World Peace. Blow the whole thing up.

Lakers message boards and Los Angeles talk radio was filled with those kinds of comments from a rabid fan base from before the Lakers fell in the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Los Angeles media fuels this. Even I said the Lakers needed to look at trading a big man.

But from Bill Sharman through Jerry West to Mitch Kupchak, one of the hallmarks of the Lakers front office has been patience. They don’t panic. They don’t make a move just to make a move, they wait for the right move.

That move came like fireworks over Dodger Stadium on Wednesday — the Lakers traded for Steve Nash.

With Nash the Lakers live for the moment — they instantly vault up to the level of the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are contenders.

There are things to find out yet. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash will have to learn to play together and play off each other, and not unlike LeBron James and Dwyane Wade that will have some bumps and take some time to smooth out. There are questions about how Nash works with two big men. The Lakers will need to both up their tempo and add a lot more pick-and-roll with the point guard to maximize what Steve Nash can do. Do the Lakers still need to consider moving Pau Gasol to add depth and keep salaries down?

And make no mistake, there is a price to be paid for what the Lakers did on the Fourth of July. There are huge salary cap implications coming (remember Kobe Bryant makes $30 million in 2013-14) the same year Andrew Bynum’s new deal kicks in and Gasol is due $19.3 million. The Lakers also traded away first round picks they may need to help rebuild after Kobe and Steve Nash walk away — which is not that far off, Nash is 38.

But this move was not about the future. It was about the now. The Lakers are a team that judges success by trying to catch the Boston Celtics for how many banners hang in the rafters. They are a franchise about stars and exciting play and players.

In one bold move, they brought all that back to Staples Center for a few more years.

But they only got to do that because they were patient first.

  1. loungefly74 - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    very exciting for the Lakers to get Nash. its all about getting a ring this upcoming season. yeah, its a lot of pressure but thats okay, we love it.

  2. paulhargis53 - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    can the starters play 40 minutes a night?
    they better hope so. that bench is horrific.
    admit I’m suprised they picked up Nash, still, this doesn’t get them by OKC.
    getting Nash even 2 years ago would be bigger news. 38 yr. old pg? not so much.

    if things fall just right, they may lose in the conference finals. this doesn’t equate to a title though.

    • Hoss - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      Did you see Nash play last year and do you think the Lakers are done making moves?

  3. fordmandalay - Jul 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    When do the Lakers ever rebuild through the draft? They’ll do what they always do – wait for young players to develop, then ‘find a way’ to get them. Don’t worry about the traded draft picks, they’re just farming out young player training to other teams.

    • manchestermiracle - Jul 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      Actually they do occasionally draft players, usually with someone else’s number one or two pick. Think Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Earvin Johnson, James Worthy….

  4. omniusprime - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Utterly stupid is what this trade is. If Fisher was too old then what is Nash except too old. Sorry but Kupcake seems bent upon ensuring the Lakers never win another title while he’s GM. The organization should have shipped Kupcake off to Portland before he made this stinker of a move. If Kobe wants another ring he’d better give up some of his way too high salary to give the Laker’s some salary room to bring in good new talent.

    Sorry but I’ve written off the Lakers for next season and I sure won’t waste my time watching them. Bringing in such an old geezer will be proven wrong when the Lakers face a team like OKC with a very talented young point guard who will run circles around Senior Citizen Nash. The Lakers needed better defense at point guard and now they’ve gotten far worse as Nash sucks at playing defense.

    • Hoss - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Are you really that stupid? Kobe is the one who recruited Nash, who by the way is still extremely productive. The Lakers now have the smartest and best shooting backcourt tandems in the game right now.

    • Hoss - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      Also when has Fisher EVER been as productive as Nash has in ANY year?

  5. hscribner - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Steve Nash
    Kobe Bryant
    Ron Artest
    Pau Gasol
    Andrew Bynum

    If Gasol gets involved more in the post and Bynum picks it up defensively, then you’re going to have an awesome starting five.

    Nash will create shots for Kobe, hand it off to the big men and score on his own. I think the biggest difference between Nash and Fisher/Sessions is that the team has confidence in Nash as a scorer and facilitator. He’s not done by a long shot.

    Great trade.

  6. addict2sport - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Ominous how exactly do you propose Kobe give up part of his salary? Unlike the NFL, NBA players cannot restructure. Those who continue to bring up Kobe’s contract need to realize the contract was made under the former CBA. It is a horrible contract under the new CBA, but under the former, that was the best way to structure a contract for an aging superstar. It’s unfortunate those who negotiated the terms of the new CBA did not consider (or if they did consider, then fight hard enough for) some type of terms that gave teams the options to work with or restructure existing contracts like Kobe’s, Joe Johnson’s, etc. Hard to fault teams for these contracts that were established under rules and regulations that no longer exist.

  7. fiyeaglesfiy - Jul 5, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    As a Lakers fan, I like this move and certainly makes them a better team short-term while their window is still open. But expect that the Thunder are still the team to beat in the west. Playoffs won’t come soon enough.

  8. lakerluver - Jul 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    I LOVE the LAKERS organization!! The only thing that matters is banner number 17!!!

  9. jimeejohnson - Jul 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Bozo’s back!

  10. rgarritt - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    What are you sniffing Kurt Helin? Steve Nash is almost 39 years old, with a bad back. Westbrook and Paul are going to posterize him and make him wish he had never stepped on the floor. I can’t believe Kobe signed off on this one.

  11. blueturtle2008 - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Great acquistion. For the OKC Thunder and the rest of the division, that is. Now you have an old Kobe and an old Steve Nash. Weak bench!! So these old timers are going to try to play 40 minutes each game?? This is why they lost to OKC. They got worn down.. This is great news. Thanks Lakers Head Office. Good Job!

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