Steve Nash leaves Phoenix for the Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a coup last month by acquiring two time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash in a sign and trade deal with the Phoenix Suns.
The eight time NBA All Star point guard joins the Lakers hoping to add the one thing missing from his impressive resume- an NBA Championship.
Throughout the 2011/12 season the Lakers were exposed at the point guard position.
Veteran starting point guard Derek Fisher was at a career low in terms of assists and his points per game (PPG) was only lower in his first season (1996/97).
The Lakers sent Fisher to the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline and in a separate deal took Ramon Sessions from Cleveland to fill in vacant starting role.
Sessions was consider an upgrade from Fisher and averaged 6.2 assists, 12.7 PPG and 30.5 minutes in 23 regular season games with the Lakers.
However, Sessions’ performance in his first post-season was not as good averaging only 3.6 assists, 9.7 PPG and 31.7 minutes in 12 games.
The Lakers were eliminated in the second round of the finals sereies by Oklahoma City in five games.
Once free agency began in July, the Lakers pounced on Nash who was heavily pursued by the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks.
Ultimately Nash decided on Los Angeles to be closer to his family.
In 62 games for the Suns last season, Nash averaged 10.7 assists, 12.5 PPG and 31.6 minutes.
Over 16 NBA seasons, the 38 year old Canadian has averaged 8.6 assists, 14.5 PPG and is renowned for his consistency.
At the Lakers Nash will join another veteran from the same draft- five time NBA Champion Kobe Bryant.
Fans and pundits will be interested to see how the two co-exist together, with Bryant having served as the Lakers key play maker for most of his career.
Bryant and Nash will make up the starting backcourt for a Los Angeles team that features Metta World Peace and All Stars Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the frontcourt.
“He’s probably the most unselfish player in the NBA and one of the top assist players in the history of the game,” said Gasol.
“Any player would be excited to play with Steve. He makes things so much easier for everyone else on the team. It’s very good news, and a very good time for a lot of Lakers fans.”
The Lakers are also believed to be involved in trade talks with the Orlando Magic in a deal that would see the league’s most prominent centre, Dwight Howard, also join the Lakers.
A Howard-Bryant-Nash combination would give the Lakers a line-up to seriously threaten league powerhouses like Miami and Oklahoma City.
The Lakers start their season on October 30 against the Dallas Mavericks in Los Angeles.