When the Lakers acquired Steve Nash on July 11, 2012 no one could have foreseen the injuries that were about to befall this durable 17 year NBA veteran All-Star point guard. The three year $27 million contract seemed generous, but probably wasn’t the most Nash could have received. The Toronto Raptors were working hard to put together an offer that would have been as big as necessary to land the two-time MVP and biggest name in Canadian basketball history.
With the Lakers set to enter the summer of 2014 with almost no contracts of any significance besides Nash, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the team would like to trade him or that Toronto is seen as a possible landing spot.
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
For the moment, a Steve Nash trade to Toronto is a complete fantasy. For one, unless the Raptors want to include Kyle Lowry or another player from their starting lineup, any deal will be difficult to fit under the provisions of the CBA. Worse, Nash has been a shell of his former self since the broken leg last season and his acquisition would be purely for marketing purposes at this time.
Nash was thought to have recovered over the summer, but he has been limited so far this season, playing less than 24 minutes per game and already missing one game in its entirely. The numbers aren’t very encouraging either as Nash has averaged 4 points and 5 assists on 18.2 percent shooting in his first 2 games played. Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report says Nash has a bruised left quadriceps and doesn’t have his trademark confidence currently.
“I am 39. I’ll be 40 in a few months,” Nash said. “So you have to adapt your mindset to the new challenge. This is where I’m at. I have to get on top of my body, and I’ve got to let my game come around.
“The nerves in the broken leg, then the nerves in the back and hamstring (last season) … I’d never felt my nerves in my life. I feel them every day now.
“Hopefully I can play at a better rate at some point in the near future.”
The opportunity to see Nash play at the Air Canada Centre is a prospect that will have the Raptors organization and the team’s fans interest. It would sell tickets. It would be amazing for Nash to end his NBA career in Canada. However, this move would be purely for the publicity as no one should be convinced that the Nash we have seen in a Lakers uniform would improve the Raptors roster today or at any time in the future.
It is pretty hard to see what the Lakers would use to entice any team including the Raptors to take on the balance of Nash’s contract. Xavier Henry maybe? Jordan Hill possibly?