Earlier today we reported that Steve Nash could end up with the New York Nicks but in a move that surprised many fans Nash is going to the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade deal reached with the Phoenix Suns.
According to ESPN Nash was ready to sign with the Knicks but Lakers star Kobe Bryant threw his support behind the trade while the move will also allow Nash to stay close to his children who will remain in Phoenix.
The Steve Nash deal is expected to earn the MVP at least $25 million over a three-year period. The Lakers can then absorb Nash through the trade exception they created by sending Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in December.
In return for sending Nash to the Lakers the Phoenix Suns will earn four draft picks including two first round picks in 2013 and 2015 and two second round picks in 2013 and 2014.
According to Steve Nash’s agent Bill Duffy the deal was being finalized at 6 p.m. PDT.
Speaking to ESPN Nash said of the trade
“After talking with (owner) Robert (Sarver) and (president of basketball operations) Lon (Babby) we’ve agreed that it’s time for both of us to move in new directions. I approached them and asked if they would be willing to do a sign-and-trade deal with L.A. because it is very important to me to stay near my children and family.
“They were very apprehensive and didn’t want to do it. Fortunately for me, they reconsidered. They saw that they were able to get assets for their team that will make them better, assets they would not have otherwise had and it made sense for them to do a deal that helps their team get better.”
While final details for the trade will be completed on July 4th the Lakers can’t officially sign Steve Nash until the leaguewide moratorium on new business ends on July 11.
Nash two weeks ago admitted that playing for a division rival would be tough given his experiences against the Lakers in the past, while admitting at the same time that he was “open to anything.”
Steve Nash will now have the chance to play alongside Bryant, Gasol and Bynum over a three-year period, a lineup that could spell NBA championship for the Los Angeles Lakers.