It was a fantastic Fourth of July if you are a Laker fan like me. The team finally, finally has a point guard. Sorry, Ramon Sessions. We thought you might have been the point guard, but we went for a decent point guard to a great point guard when we traded for Steve Nash. The good news is all the Lakers had to do was give up a couple of first round draft picks. The Lakers have never really been the kind of team to draft players and develop them anyways. They look to win now, not three years from now.
From the Suns of point of view, they wanted to put Nash on a good team, as Nash has been loyal, hardworking and a fantastic player for them. He has given his body, his heart, and his soul to that team. Yes, the Raptors offered more money, but with Nash being 38-years-old, it’s clear they are not going to win titles in the next year or two. Nash realizes going to the Lakers over the Raptors and the Knicks gives him the best chance to win a title and win one now. It also gives the Suns some draft picks to use to get better. Everyone wins.
For the Lakers, it’s a home run trade, the kind they have been looking for since they traded for Chris Paul and got vetoed by David Stern. It has been clear that they need a point guard to compete with the top teams in the west. Derek Fisher, Steve Blake, Ramon Sessions were just not cutting it. This is a point guard league now, and you need a good one to be a championship team. This makes Gasol, Bynum, and Kobe better. Too many times I watched a Laker game and they would take the ball down the court, slowly, pass it, find no one open, and turn it over or miss a long distance shot.
Yes, Nash is not the player he once was, but playing for the Lakers, with all of the talent surrounding him is going to light a fire under someone who doesn’t need a fire lit in the first place. This makes the Lakers a scary good team. The good news is maybe they are not done yet. Maybe they will trade Bynum for Howard, a movie that I fully endorse. Bynum is a good player, without question, but Howard is a great player and the Lakers can build around him when Kobe retires, keeping a star in L.A. for another decade. Both are immature and headache inducing, but I’d take Howard and his wishy washy personality over Bynum and his negative attitude any day.
Kobe, Dwight, and Nash … wow! Who would have this would be possible a month and a half ago after the Lakers were eliminated by the Thunder? It looked pretty difficult to make any moves, with the new CBA, their high payroll, limited trading parts. As I wrote in this blog before, the Lakers are the kind of the team that always lands on their feet. That was clearly the case with this fantastic move.
Now, let’s get working on trading for Howard and fixing the bench!