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Published on Jul 4, 2012
Lakers Acquire Steve Nash From Suns In Sign-And-Trade! Will Dwight Howard Land With The Lakers?
Nash Heads to Lakers, Leaving Knicks in Lurch
Steve Nash flirted with New York, listened to Toronto and pondered a return to Dallas, in a furious recruiting period that threatened to tip the balance of power in one N.B.A. region or another. The answer at last came Wednesday evening, just before the fireworks began to fly: Nash is heading to Los Angeles, to join Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, in a deal that should catapult the Lakers back into title contention.
The Phoenix Suns, despite some reservations about sending their star point guard to a division rival, agreed to a sign-and-trade deal. The precise terms of Nash's contract were not immediately known. The Suns will receive two first-round picks (in 2013 and 2015) and two second-round picks (in 2013 and 2014), but no players. It is assumed that they will receive the so-called trade exception the Lakers obtained in the Lamar Odom trade last December.
The trade was first reported by KTAR in Phoenix and confirmed by The Arizona Republic.
The deal leaves the Knicks still searching for a veteran hand to stabilize their offense and to mentor Jeremy Lin, their promising 23-year-old point guard. The Knicks were always a longshot to land Nash, because of salary-cap constraints and a dearth of tradable assets. Their only chance to was to acquire Nash via sign-and-trade. They made a hard push, offering a trade package built around Iman Shumpert and a bunch of minor players with expiring contracts. Although Nash, 38, has a home in the West Village and spends his summers here, he ultimately chose the Lakers, presumably to stay closer to his family and to enhance his chances at a title before he retires.