The trade rumors continue to swirl in Los Angeles. After reports that the team could be close to acquiring Dwight Howard in exchange for Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace, a new rumor has surfaced that involves a former league MVP.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the team is possibly considering a sign-and-trade deal with the Suns that would involve Nash.
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 Lakers do have a viable starting point guard they could send Phoenix in such a deal, Ramon Sessions, who became an unrestricted free agent after surprisingly opting out of the last year of his contract. Forwards Jordan Hill and Matt Barnes are also free agents.
Due to the Lakers salary cap situation, which leaves little room for free agent signings and flexibility, the team would almost certainly have to focus on a sign-and-trade if they were serious about acquiring Nash.
In the past Nash has stated he wasn’t interested in joining Los Angeles, but he has backed off of those comments a bit lately. If the team was able to offer Nash a roster that included Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, it may do a little more to perk Nash’s interests.
For a team that needs to get younger, a 39-year-old point guard doesn’t seem like a solid decision. But with a roster that includes an aging Kobe Bryant, the Lakers’ window is closing rapidly. Nash is still a productive player and fills a need the Lakers need. While the team’s goal is still to find some younger players, a proven veteran like Nash who can still be productive is something the team should consider. It doesn’t make sense for them to get younger at the expense of winning games.