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Report: Steve Nash to return to Lakers lineup Friday vs. Wizards

Mar 20, 2014, 11:26 PM EST

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Steve Nash has played just 10 games for the Lakers this season as the nerve root issue that bothered him last season has limited him A couple weeks ago Mike D’Antoni said he didn’t expect Nash to be back this season.

He was wrong. At least according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

After five weeks on the sidelines, Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash is planning a return to the lineup on Friday night, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Lakers, left with only one healthy point guard, are planning to use Nash as a backup to Kendall Marshall against the Washington Wizards at Staples Center.

The Lakers also will get Nick Young and Jordan Hill back from injuries Friday.

If you have watched the Grantland series following Nash through his final seasons it is clear that he loves the game and wants to leave on his own terms. He is honest and admits he never was going to walk away from the $9.7 million he is owed next season — neither would you — but this is a two-time MVP who was counted out by people at every stage of his career. He has a real passion for the game and a real desire to be on the court. He’s a competitor. He just chooses not to wear it on his sleeve as others do.

While there has been some talk of the Lakers using the stretch provision on Nash (letting him go and stretching his salary cap hit out over three years). Don’t bet on it. This is not a great free agent summer (unless Miami’s big three bolt, and that’s highly unlikely to put it mildly). The Lakers really are targeting 2015 (Kevin Love) and beyond for their rebuilding efforts. Why spread out Nash’s contract hit into those years, better to take one big hit and keep him around as large salary to move if Minnesota or another team decides they want to talk trade.

I’m not sure that Nash can provide much on the court but the Lakers are hurting as much as he can so it won’t hurt.

  1. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Well that’s just dumb. But if he helps them win a couple of extra games and worsens their draft spot, let him play to his heart’s content.

  2. rainmaker1982 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    The Lakers are a joke. And this is coming from a die hard Lakers fan.

  3. spg3081 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:14 AM

    @eugenesaxe1

    I think you’re overestimating the “positive” impact of Nash playing, in terms of on court impact. He’s coming off the bench and I highly doubt he takes any of Marshall’s minutes from him. The goal is likely to see if Nash has reached a point physically where he could handle playing 12-15 minutes a night (maybe even 15-20 a night). He might add a half a win in cumulative terms the rest of the way, if he is outstanding in limited minutes (outstanding is a relative term – in this case, steadying the bench unit & being a poor man’s Andre Miller, minus the post ups and with a better jump shot).

    There is a long term positive for the Lakers. Maybe he can play the remainder of the season without a setback, even in limited minutes. If so, a few options open up. Assuming the Lakers strike out on a superstar in free agency, they can count on Nash in 2015 to
    A) provide positive play on the court, even in a reserve role
    B) provide a steadying veteran presence, hopefully even as a mentor to their high first round pick (especially if it’s Exum)
    C) they’ll have an easier time selling him as salary filler in a trade for a superstar – using Love as an example, the Lakers send Nash with whatever assets (do any exist?) to Minnesota to even out the salaries; Minnesota can sell him as more than filler, that he’ll provide knowledge & mentoring, especially to Rubio
    D) as the post mentioned, the Lakers will likely pass on releasing him under the stretch provision, preserving cap space for the 2016-17 seasons – a somewhat healthy Nash who can provide useful minutes is easier to swallow than an inactive Nash or a perpetual DNP-CD in the box score Nash

    Granted, calling a lot of these points “benefits” is a stretch. They’re better than not knowing if Nash will suit up for more than 30 games next season (and for no stretch longer than three games).

    Besides, even the most zealous and unrealistic Lakers fan wouldn’t declare that bringing Nash back would add any wins. I’m a Wizards fan, I’m looking forward to Nash versus Miller (and hoping to see Nash on Wall or Beal – oh please please please!). Hey…actually I hope he flames out & the Lakers do release him under the stretch provision. He’d be a MUCH better option for the Wizards at HC than Wittman. Granted, that applies tithe broken broom handle I keep in my shed because, well, you never know when you’ll need a broken broom handle.

  4. retxedfred - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:53 AM

    It’s very inspiring to see Nash, pushing 40, working so hard just to get the chance to give it one last push in the Grantland videos.

  5. almight12 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    Can you say, ‘Playoff Push’?

  6. mnsadsportsfan - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Whats the point? Keep ca$hin those checks!

    • ranfan12 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      The point is basketball.

  7. aboogy123456 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    I think this is a possible sign that Nash will retire at the end of the year. He loves the game so much and wants to go out with a couple good games before he retires, and if he was shelved for the year then I think he would have wanted to come back. He puts in so much work every day just so he can play in a game, and I’m not sure he would want to go through that for another season. I’m rooting for him to play well tonight.

    • casualcommenter - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Steve Nash has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to retire yet, and him putting up a few 14 point, 8 assist games at the end of a lost season for the lottery-bound Lakers isn’t going to dramatically change his perspective.

  8. ptownbearsfan420 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Am I the only one that thought that last little paragraph made no sense at all..? Maybe im crazy lol

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      I had to read it twice too before I just gave up on it and chalked it up to good ol’ PBT writting.

  9. truninerfan49 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    who cares

  10. fanofthegame79 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    If Nash plays tonight, and if he gets hurt again, does he retire?

  11. fmartinezslc - Mar 22, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Nash sucks lakers suck who cares ? Jus proves they don’t know what the hell there doing in front office

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