Steve Nash has announced his retirement from the NBA with an article in The Players’ Tribune.
Nash had a great 19-year career that included eight All-Star games, three times being named first-team All-NBA, and twice winning the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award.
However, injuries derailed Nash’s last two seasons with the Lakers making their trade for the star point guard a complete disaster.
Following the 2011-12 season, the Lakers completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns for Nash. At the time, the move was considered one that would keep the Lakers in title contention and according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Nash was only swayed to join the Lakers “after a determined push from [Kobe] Bryant.”
The Lakers gave Nash a 3-year, $US28 million contract as part of the deal. In those three seasons, Nash played in just 65 games and the Lakers did not win a single playoff series, losing in the first round of the 2013 playoffs during their only postseason appearance with Nash.
Luckily for the Lakers, insurance likely covered 80% of Nash’s earnings from missed time in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons according to Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times. That means the Lakers would likely recoup about $US13.8 million of the $US28.0 million they paid Nash.
But it gets worse, a lot worse.
The Lakers also gave up four draft picks in the deal:
- 2013 first-round pick (No. 30 overall) — The Suns used this pick to select Nemanja Nedovic from Serbia. His rights were then traded to the Golden State Warriors for Archie Goodwin and Malcolm Lee, with Lee then being used as part of a package to acquire the No. 18 pick in the 2014 draft which was used to pick Tyler Ennis.
- 2013 second-round pick (No. 57 overall) — Phoenix picked Alex Oriakhi who was later traded for Isaiah Thomas. The Suns then traded Thomas to the Celtics as part of a 3-team deal in which the Suns picked up a future first-round pick from the Cavaliers (2016 if not in the top 10).
- 2014 second-round pick (No. 36 overall) — This pick was used in a complicated 3-team trade that landed the Suns a potential first-round pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves. That pick was later used by Phoenix to acquire Brandan Wright from the Celtics.
- 2015 first-round pick — The Suns used this pick, along with Ennis and another player (Miles Plumlee), in a 3-team trade with Phoenix landing a starting shooting guard in Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall. Phoenix will keep the pick if it is in the top-5 of this year’s draft and the Suns will instead send a future pick.
The final tally for the Suns is complicated because other players were used in some of the trades. But what is clear is that the Suns picked up four great assets that are still helping them load up on the future.
The Lakers got an ageing and expensive veteran who wasn’t able to stay on the court.
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