BASKETBALL — 05 July 2012

Steve Nash will be packing his bags and heading to LA to join the Lakers. The Phoenix Suns agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that will bring them four future draft picks.

Nash will be given a three-year deal worth $27 million. The Lakers utilized the trade exception they received from last year’s Lamar Odom deal with the Dallas Mavericks.

The Suns will get the LA Lakers’ 2013 & 2015 first-round draft picks as well as their 2014 & 2015 second-round picks. The Lakers also paid the Phoenix Suns $3 million cash to facilitate the trade.

The Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks were both frontrunners in the race to sign Nash. He ended up turning down more money – the Raptors offered nearly $36 million for three years – for the opportunity to chase down an NBA title with Kobe Bryant and achieved what was most important to him, the opportunity to be closer to his three children. The move to LA allows Nash to be within an hour of them; his agent says he’s “never seen him happier because of that fact alone.”

Reportedly it was Steve Nash who pushed for the Phoenix Suns to pursue the sign-and-trade deal with their rival Lakers. Everyone is entitled to make the decisions that best suit their situations and motivations. The Toronto Raptors offered him close to $9 million dollars more; were it about money alone Nash would have chosen them. The New York Knicks were another team contending to acquire the 2 time MVP of the league.

Canadian basketball fans everywhere have mixed opinions on Toronto’s bid to acquire Steve Nash. Thousands of Canadians waited anxiously on Canada Day 2012 to hear the good news that Steve Nash would be coming home to play for the only Canadian team in the NBA, unfortunately; never receiving the news they wanted.

Steve Nash is adored by fans everywhere, of course, Canadians take special pride in the fact that Steve Nash is essentially the most successful Canadian player in the NBA in recent history. Nash was recently appointed the General Manager of the National Canadian Men’s team and has expressed a strong desire to help grow and develop the sport of basketball within Canada. Many thought that this would be a high priority on his list when selecting his next team. Fact is that his family came first, the appeal of the increased chance of winning a ring in LA likely came second.

The fact is that come three years, the opportunity for Nash to make an impact on the improvement and development within Canada will still be there. It’s hard to blame him for wanting to be close to the ones he loves and play on a contending team. Kobe Bryant must be trilled. One of the best players of the game just teamed up with one of the most valuable point guards in the league. This could be a very exciting, very dangerous combination.

Canadians will certainly be disappointed, but hey, Canadians tend to also be extremely forgiving. Steve Nash will adjust to his new role with Basketball Canada and the Lakers and when his contract is up he’ll decide if he’s ready to retire from the NBA. Once he retires you can expect him to start taking more of a leadership role in aiding to the growth and development of basketball in Canada. Who knows, if he’s still going strong he might want to keep going, at 38 years old now and with a three year deal with LA, it’s not very likely that at 41 years old he’ll want to keep going and he’ll look at what he can do to impact the growth of basketball in Canada.

Check out ESPN reporting the trade announcement:


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