The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Atlanta Hawks 105-103 on Sunday night. Steve Nash helped lead the way for the home team, scoring 13 points on five of seven shooting and dishing out six assists. Through three games, taking out the second game of a back-to-back versus the Golden State Warriors that he didn’t play in, this was clearly Nash’s most solid, complete effort.
For comparison’s sake, in the other two games against the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs, Nash put up seven points and three points, respectively. Those totals came on a combined two-of-eleven shooting.
Nash, 39, looks exactly the way you would expect a point guard four months shy of his 40th birthday to look. He’s slow. He’s injury-prone. He’s a shell of his former self. And he’s owed $19 million over the next two years.
When the Lakers traded for him, they envisioned Nash throwing up alley-oops to Dwight Howard. Instead he ended up being a big reason why Howard departed for the Houston Rockets. Sure, the tumultuous relationship with Kobe Bryant didn’t help, but Nash was the reason why Jim Buss hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson. The latter would’ve made the offense more suited to Howard’s needs. The former wanted to bring back a seven seconds or less offense with a bunch of 30+ year olds.
What you see with Nash is what you get. He’ll have the occasional double figure scoring night, sure, but he’ll will never be what he once was. Everyone, including the Lakers, can see that now. Which is probably why you’re starting to hear things like this leak out:
Steve Nash is another vet who may be traded this year. I've heard Toronto as a possible landing spot for Nash from multiple league sources.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 4, 2013
You will recall, a year ago when Nash was a free agent, the Toronto Raptors expressed a lot of interest in signing him. They went so far as to sign Landry Fields to a god-awful contract just to keep the New York Knicks from getting hm. In that regard, their supposed current interest in him makes sense – sort of. Then again, why would a team looking to rebuild and get young want to add someone who will still be on the books next year? Beyond that, the Lakers have no picks to send to Toronto – and this year is all about accumulating picks for the draft.
There have been rumors over the past few weeks that the Raptors are considering trading Rudy Gay. He has often been mentioned as a fallback free agent prospect for L.A., if they fail to get LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, etc., so him getting back in a potential swap makes sense – again, sort of. Then again, why would the Lakers tie themselves down financially and guarantee that they won’t be able to get a big name star when, let’s face it, Gay has proven that he’s not even particularly good second option.
Might the Lakers trade Nash to Toronto? Anything can happen. Will it happen? Nope.