Steve Nash headed to Lakers in sign-and-trade for picks

Posted by on July 4th, 5:58 pm

Well Suns fans, at least it wasn’t San Antonio.

Yet many Phoenix fans’ Fourth of July was ruined this evening when reports surfaced that the Suns will trade Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade involving multiple draft picks.

Nash will sign a three-year, $25 million deal and be absorbed into the Lakers’ trade exception created by the Lamar Odom trade, as originally reported by KTAR’s John Gambadoro and later corroborated by ESPN’s resident Nash correspondent Marc Stein.

The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro reported that the Suns will receive either a Heat or Lakers 2013 first-rounder (whichever is worse), a 2015 Lakers first with minimal protection, a 2013 second-rounder from Denver and a 2014 second-rounder from the Lakers as well as $3.1 million in cash (the max allowed).

Wow.

With all the talk of the Raptors, Knicks, Mavericks and Nets in recent weeks, the Lakers slid right under the radar. Gambo tweeted that “New York was never really a serious option for Nash” and that “Nash never wanted to go to Toronto he wanted to be closer to home in Phoenix.”

Stein reported that a “determined push from Bryant,” the Lakers’ status as a contender and the city’s close proximity to his three children in Phoenix ultimately sealed Two Time’s decision.

Suns owner Robert Sarver originally opposed the idea of trading Nash to the Suns’ fierce rivals, according to Coro, but he “had a change of heart Wednesday.”

Boy oh boy is that first Lakers game in US Airways Center going to be a spectacle.

Many Suns fans must be hoping this is April Fools Day rather than the Fourth of July, especially since Stein reported that Nash will now predictably try to recruit Grant Hill to Los Angeles, but I don’t see this trade being such a Doomsday scenario.

If you can ignore the name on the jersey for one second, the Suns have now gained two first-round picks (albeit low ones) as well as the seconds in return for a player many thought would depart for nothing a few days ago. I would very much rather have those four assets than nothing.

Sure, it would be better to have acquired Iman Shumpert from the Knicks, but ultimately this was Nash’s call. It also would not have been great to have to take on some of the flotsam the Knicks were offering to make the money work and really it did not matter once Nash said he preferred LA.

The Suns could have played hardball and I don’t think they owed it to him to necessarily send him wherever he wants, but really he’s doing them a favor as well by getting them the two firsts when he very easily could have fled for nothing.

Some Suns fans have said on Twitter they would have made Nash fend for himself with a mid-level exception rather than help him get to the Lakers, but if he’s gone anyway management is right to make the rational decision of adding picks to their war chest, especially when it helps out your former “sun, moon and stars” get where he wants to go.

That brings us to our next point in that it is baffling that Lon Babby has made such a big deal out of what Nash means to the franchise yet in the end the Suns hardly made a play for Two Time.

If the Suns were going to play free agency this way, why not make a bigger push to trade him at last season’s trade deadline when Phoenix was going nowhere anyway? It’s debatable whether they could have gotten much more than two first-rounders and two seconds at the time — and Babby has emphasized the importance of loyalty in how they handled his situation as well as the fact Suns fans got to watch their Hall-of-Famer play out the season — but one would think making a bigger push to trade him would have made sense in hindsight.

Based on what I’ve seen on social media, many Suns fans would have preferred Nash to go anywhere but the Lakers, and were particularly aghast that the Suns would help him get there.

Aside from the Spurs, there’s no team Suns fans hate more than the Lakers, and frankly the thought of Nash in purple and gold makes me a bit queasy.

Even Nash himself said on an ESPN radio affiliate last week that he would not make such a move.

“The truth is I am a bit old-school,” Nash said. “I think for me it would be hard to put on a Lakers jersey. That’s just what it is. You play against them so many times in the playoffs and I just use them as an example with the uttermost respect for them and their organization. I think it was Larry Bird that like he-wouldn’t-play-for-them-type thing. I kind of have that tendency. It is strange but as a free agent, you are free to go wherever you want and I’d have to consider everything regardless of the past or future. You have to evaluate that moment.”

Many Suns fans see him as a traitor, but this is what happens in free agency. Eight years ago Suns fans were jubilant and Mavericks fans were crestfallen. There’s a reason why Jerry Seinfeld made the joke that in essence we’re rooting for laundry.

As emotional as this decision is to Suns fans, we can’t forget about the eight seasons Nash gave to the franchise and how he is perhaps the best player to ever don purple and orange. To me this decision changes none of that, as difficult as it is to take.

I think Suns fans are also so disappointed because it’s been kind of a foregone conclusion that wherever Nash goes will instantly become everyone’s second-favorite team. Everybody in Phoenix wants him to win a ring so badly, yet it’s impossible to stomach rooting for the Lakers.

Now the Suns possess five first-rounders and five second-rounders in the next three drafts, and it’s time to go to New Orleans and see what kind of business can be done on a Gordon sign-and-trade.

The Nash era is over, so now it’s time for the Suns to finally begin the rebuilding process in earnest that has already started through their courting of young free agents. Now they can clear their cap holds to Nash as well as Hill and Shannon Brown and focus 100 percent on youth with the rest of their free agency dollars.

That first Lakers visit to Phoenix will surely be painful, but I hope the fans still applaud him for what he has meant to this franchise. After all, as deplorable as it might be to think of Nash as Kobe’s teammate, at least he gave the Suns franchise one last assist as he walked out the door.

And 1

JMZ took to Twitter to provide his take on the Nash trade:

1st off wanna thank @SteveNash for everything he’s done for me as a player.He’s def made me better and shown me how to be true professional

@SteveNash has not only been a the Best but the most unselfish player I ever played with. I only wish him the Best. He’s deserves everything

@SteveNash has made many players millions.Only fitting to trade to a team that has a chance to win the ship and pay what he deserves

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Los Angeles Lakers · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Phoenix Suns News · Steve Nash · Trades

61 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Beach // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I will cry now…

  • 2 . // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    DANG it. Now I got to be a Laker Fan. FUDGE. Dwight is probably on the way to the Lakers also.

  • 3 Vince // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    This is the last straw!! I’m sorry, but a two-time MVP for 2 late 20′s picks and 2 second round picks is NOT GOOD ENOUGH, Suns front office!!! Your incompetence baffles me!!!

  • 4 JZ // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Steve went all Hollywood. So…who’s gonna get Finals MVP? Kobe or Steve? Hope Laker’s don’t suck or else Kobe going to be talking smack about Steve throughout the season.

  • 5 Harvey // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I’m absolutely stunned…Didn’t see it coming….For Draft picks and cash…? Really…? Suns…?Incredible…But that’s the way it’s in the NBA…Just a business…

  • 6 Nathanael // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Benedict Arnold move by my FORMER favorite player.

    Now I know how Cavaliers fans felt.

  • 7 bk // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Guys, please don’t forget Suns got Nash for nothing back in 2004 FA.

  • 8 Jason A. // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I am in shock. I hope he stays healthy and they fail miserably. Nash is dead to me now.

  • 9 bk // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Please don’t surrender the picks to get Gordon in S&T.

  • 10 Jason A. // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The picks mean nothing, you might as well set them on fire. I’d rather have nothing.

  • 11 Steven B // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    The reason is clear…now he can share a locker with Lamar.

  • 12 Jay // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    At least it isn’t San Antonio? Giving him to LA is the most painful thing in Arizona sports history. This is going to hurt for a very long time.

  • 13 neurotic steve nash fan // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    C’mon!!!!!!
    I’m a Nash fan first and Suns second. I knew wherever Nash ended up would be my new favorite team. I even started to get excited thinking about Knicks, Dallas or even the mighty Raptors. Lakers are the only team that I wont be able to get behind. My hatred will not allow it.

  • 14 Freddy // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    This is worse than Amare leaving to the Knicks.

  • 15 Suns4L1fe // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    On the bright side, we get picks that could be used to get other players (Eric Gordon or others). I’m hopeful that Lon Babby will continue to work his ‘magic’ and try to do something. All these hopeful trade talks and sign talks for the Suns, but nothing positive has happened yet. NOLA will likely match. We haven’t officially signed anyone, and we haven’t gotten better. But Michael did make a good point, 2 days ago the Suns wouldn’t have gotten anything.

  • 16 Andy // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Probably two sub 25 picks and two seconds. We’ll be luck to get one guy who signs a deal beyond his rookie contract. That’s what we got back in exchange for every phone call and text and e-mail we’re all going to get from every bandwagon Laker fan for the next 2 years. Remember that. Remember how “rational” this was when Lakers fans fill this board up, and you have to watch Kobe lift the trophy our city has never tasted. I don’t care if it’s prudent. We all spend years caring and crying and screaming and then you get a reminder like this, that to everyone involved, none of this matters. None of it. Remember THAT.

  • 17 Jay // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I agree with the guys above. I wish Nash health, but he’s absolutely dead to me. If he goes to LA and wins a title, i don’t want his number retired…to hell with him. This franchise is a joke.

  • 18 Miles // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    This is crap, why would you send him to one of your biggest rivals? Can’t wait to see what players we’ll draft that’ll amount to nothing. Apparently all those playoff series against LA meant nothing to franchise or player. I said i’d support Nash when he left, but not anymore. Is this what basketball is now? I can’t win with this team, so I’m just going to go to the best possible team so everythings easier. Enjoy your tainted title with the LAKERS if you win. That’ll really mean something. Crap crap crap

  • 19 Momochi Sandayu // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Last I checked I wasn’t a 14 year old girl, so I am not going to get vindictive, and turn Cleveland on Steve Nash. It hurts to see him go, and it is sad to see him go to to the Lakers of all places.

    At the end of the day he is still Steve Nash. He is still all the good things that made me a fan, so I see no reason to suddenly turn my back on him. I hope those that are writing him off can see that for themselves sooner or later. The Lakers are a great team, and a great opportunity for him and I think he deserves it.

    If this goes through I wish him the best. He will always and forever be “Two Time” to me.

  • 20 LoveNashHateLakers // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I would rather Nash have went anywhere than the evil lakers! Kobe is the last person I want to see be on the receiving end of a Nash pass. And we get next to nothing in return… Happy 4th of July Suns fans

  • 21 Steve // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    As a New Yorker living in AZ and a Knick fan, I am shocked. I don’t care what personal issues you have to be close with your kids, Nash not for one minute did you thinkg about the AZ fans who cheered for you for so many years. If I was a Suns fan, I would boo him, no loyalty what so ever…

    And the Suns organization? What a laughing stock, go ahead and try and raise tickets prices again….

    WOW, it would be like the Yanks trading Jeter to the Red Sox because his GF lived in Boston, WTF!

  • 22 LeBrow // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    At least y’all got 4 picks. Too bad Gordon won’t be coming. If he does, the only pieces you may have are Michael Beasley and maybe Goran Dragic.

  • 23 Sub-zero // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Haha. Lose Nash to ur enemy and get used by Gordon. Sucks to be a suns fan

  • 24 Valatalamanamanisha // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Go Lakers!

  • 25 JZ // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I think what hurts most for everyone is that Steve is going to one of the 2 teams that have gotten on the Sun’s way for the past 6 years and that in order to see Steve win a title Sun fans have to watch Kobe lift the trophy AGAIN and declare himself equal to or better than MJ.
    Hey, at least we still all remember what Kobe did in Denver. THAT will be part of his Hall of Fame ballot.

  • 26 Sub-zero // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Suns will be competing with the bobcats next year.

  • 27 Lakeshow13 // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    stevie

  • 28 Crymearivers // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Don’t blame Nash. He was smart enough to get out of Phoenix. The heat, desert, old people, joke of a basketball team.

  • 29 SkyNet // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Geaux Hornets

  • 30 Crymeariv // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Don’t blame Nash. He was smart enough to get out of Phoenix. The heat, desert, old people, joke of a basketball team. I would wanna get out of there too

  • 31 Scott // Jul 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I don’t see the Suns keeping these picks. Since the Suns only like the top half of the first round or FAs, these picks will likely be doled out like candy to sweeten future Suns trades (like the Dragic trade).

    IMO, Nash was given away for nothing. At least the Suns didn’t take on contracts, though. (Which is like saying, “Yay! I have half a brain!” lol)

    And at least the Lakers won’t have the use of these picks (and their cap exceptions) to fill out their bench. Ha! Take that, Lakers! :p

    I wonder what the motives and arguments were.

    Probably Sarver was persuaded that this would be doing right by Nash.

    And as for Nash, I guess he wanted to be in LA not only because it’s close to family, but because he has a continuing interest in video / film. Possibly a clue was how at his recent soccer event most of the NBA guys in attendance were fellow film nerds.

    Also, Kobe is probably a persuasive recruiter. There’s been hints that he’s been actively trying to draw players to LA, such as Dragic and Michael Redd. Kobe wants to win, and I imagine he recruits as decisively and intensely as he plays.

    So … a tangential thought here … my prediction is that Nash’s next injury comes from a Suns player. Not on purpose, of course, but from knowing how Steve plays yet not being used to playing against him at full speed. So a clumsy move by someone who really likes Nash, like Gortat.

    Or call it karma. ;)

  • 32 . // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I think another reason Nash signed with LA is because his new GF wants to start a singing career and needs to be close to record labels and talent agencies. Kind of like Melo’s wife.
    Or it’s probably because he missed the yearly Christmas games broadcast nation wide. A Christmas game is assured when you play for LA.

  • 33 Browdownonphx // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    So now your best player will be gortat. Lmao. Good luck

  • 34 bk // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    If Nash took the most money from raptors, the Suns’ return is as worse as Stoudemire – trade exception or nothing.

  • 35 Jacob // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    How can this even happen? I’d dumbfounded. I’m not upset at Nash, but rather the Suns’ organization for pursuing this. This is a slap in the face to Suns fans everywhere.

  • 36 Artur Mascarenhas // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Just shocked. Bragging rights to the people asking Suns’ front office to trade Nash last season…

    Just wondering how many people would pick Nash over Kevin Johnson as their Suns’ all-time favorite PG

  • 37 Lakers>suns/alldayerryday // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Enjoy Gordon and the 10 games he plays. We’ll gut your team. And btw GO LAKERS! Phoenix is such a bad city anyway

  • 38 Lloyd I. Cadle // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Some of you are talking like Kobe and Nash are still in their primes. Kobe is quickly getting over the hill (notice how he can no longer make a clutch shot) and Nash is a year older and slower.

    The Lakers will not be raising the trophy, but their cups as they soak their dentures in polident!

  • 39 Suns4L1fe // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    You guys are talking bout Nash like he’s Lebron. He isn’t. He’s Nash. He’s still the guy that won two MVP’s with the Suns, and easily the best player in our history. Don’t hate if he wants to win a title, I’m sure you’d do the same if you were in his position. Look to the bright side, we have picks that we can use in trades, and we’re still pretty active in this free agency. Steve will always have a place in our hearts, because he was the heart of this team; but it’s simply time to move on. The FO respects his decision, let’s respect it aswell.

  • 40 Me // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I simply do not like Hypocrites! If he had kept his mouth shut about LA two days ago, then maybe I respect his decision. However, he is simply a liar. No wonder his wife hooked up with J Rich and had a baby!

  • 41 Jason A. // Jul 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Congrats to laker fans. You’re still the biggest bunch of pathetic winners I’ve ever seen. Coming on a Suns board to bash our team and our city because we did our guy a favor? Good luck with your lives because you have no future where it counts. Classless.

  • 42 WonderBoyRoy // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Wow, this is a real crappy forum.

  • 43 jonnyk // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Can we petition for Michael Schwartz to be replaced as our blogger. You are a lame correspondent and not a fan. Where is the anger and pain!!?? And I would prefer the Spurs over the Lakers any day.

  • 44 steve // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    @Me – The J Rich rumor was a lie. I’m surprised some people still believe it.

    I’m totally fine with this deal, and I’m happy for Nash and excited for the future of the Suns. I’ll still boo the Lakers (and now Nash) like crazy whenever they’re in town, but that’s all part of the game. When Nash retires, we all know where his loyalties will lie. This is a business, and I think this was about as amicable of a breakup as you could hope for. Bravo to Steve, and bravo to the front office.

  • 45 steve // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    It’s always fun to see what garbage is brought in on these big news days. There are a lot of weird folks out there.

  • 46 WonderBoyRoy // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    And to all you idiots tearing down laker fans…you did the same thing on our hornets forum so you have no room to talk.

  • 47 Jason A. // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Who gives a crap about the Hornets? Going there to post would be even more pathetic than laker fans coming here to post. Why are you even here wonder boy? You realize you being here is even more sad than a Suns fan posting on your board? Jeez dude, at least find an article about Gordon and post your misery there. Man I feel better now.

  • 48 WonderBoyRoy // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Obviously fans of the suns do otherwise they wouldn’t be posting on our forum Jason. Why is there misery when the move by your front office reeks of desperation. Then, to top it all off you trade your biggest star basically ever to your biggest in division rival. Seems like YOU have alot to be sad about.

  • 49 LakeShowForLife // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Wonderful! Welcome to the Laker family, Steve! We’ll now teach him to wipe out every part of the Suns’ losing culture from his veins and embrace a culture instead of constant success.

    How does it feel to know Nash will retire as a Laker, Phoenix losers?

  • 50 WonderBoyRoy // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Later Losers! Have fun being the Houston Rockets for the next 5 yrs.

  • 51 Jacob // Jul 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    How can you say “at least it wasn’t San Antonio”??? So in your mind, the Lakers aren’t as big a rival?? This is Steve Nash we’re talking about… STEVE NASH. Going to the Lakers… and you’re saying at least it’s not San Antonio?? Who are you???

  • 52 shazam // Jul 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    2 years ago at the trade deadline i said we should trade nash because since the team had been gutted with the loss of amare we had to re-build w/ youth…i said turkey glue and war rick was a huge mistake..i did think childress would be good..anyways the entire forum mother f–ed me ..if we had traded then we would have gotten something and our youth movement would have been in full swing

  • 53 shazam // Jul 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    i know we are going all youths right now but I’m telling you michael redd is going to have a very good value year..we should resign him for leadership and to show this team how to draw contact w/ their shots

  • 54 steve // Jul 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    @shazam

    I’d actually say the followers of this site have been more open to the idea of trading Nash years ago than virtually any other Suns outlet. I know a lot of the commenters (me, Rich, and you at the very least) have been asking for Nash to leave for years, and I know that the writers on this site have said the same thing for quite some time as well.

    I don’t know if the opportunity really presented itself in a package that was worthwhile, and that’s part of the problem. Just because you say, “I want to trade player X,” doesn’t mean you’re going to get good value for him.

    If the reports were true that the T-Wolves would have given up the #2 for Nash last year, I would have done it in a heartbeat, but that was the only rumored deal I ever heard that was actually worthwhile.

    The Suns got plenty of value out of Nash, and the relationship was mutually beneficial. It’s a bummer it’s over, but when all is said and done, Nash is always going to be a Sun, and this franchise is going to get along just fine without him as their rock.

  • 55 Scott // Jul 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    @shazam -

    Not sure what you’re complaining about. The Suns would have got nothing for Nash back then, same as now. Turkoglu and Childress were mistakes. I’m not sure about Warrick; I think there might be some coaching issues there.

    The Suns finally got a pass-first PG in the draft, and now Nash has left for other pastures. Seems like pretty good timing to me, esp. since the Suns were prepared to give up on Dragic like they did.

  • 56 Scott // Jul 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    @shazam -

    Thanks for reminding me about Redd. I was actually intending to post about him, before I saw your other post. :)

    So … what is going on with Redd? I’ve heard not a peep anywhere. With the Suns looking at this player and that, I wonder if there is still room for him?

    But I agree … he could be a needed veteran influence, helping to stabilize the team and keep everyone working hard.

    Of course, Kobe was trying to recruit him last year, so maybe Redd and Grant will be signing with the Lakers along with Steve. :p

  • 57 phxfan // Jul 4, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Nash did phx a favor we now have trade pieces or at very least some prospects from the draft, especially since the front office wasn’t going to go hard after him anyways, but if Toronto and the knicks weren’t options and he wanted to stay close to his kids why didn’t he stay here since we are adding decent pieces like Gordon and beasley

  • 58 m.i.milliman // Jul 5, 2012 at 1:10 am

    wow. this thread is sad people. its just a guy that wants to move on, thats it. been a Suns fan my whole life and seen lots of ups and downs and this is certainly a downer but some people are acting like he kicked their dog. get a handle people. i’m looking forward to the new era.

    btw, my daughter was shocked and asked me if we could still like Nash and i told her, yep. he’s still fun to watch… she’s only six and she gets it.

  • 59 Boris // Jul 5, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Guys, if you’r hating on nash you have to realize he is doing this mostly for his kids, basketball is just a game at the end of the day.

    That being said, good luck Steve.

    And fuck Kobe. ;)

  • 60 shazam // Jul 5, 2012 at 5:14 am

    im not complaining so much as pointing out that we missed out on a chance for top 5 picks the last 2 years in a row scott..and tony just last year when i mentioned again to trade nash YOU were the ONLY one who stuck up for me..i took a beating over it…later in the year most agreed w/ us…now the year before i think you got it wrong..yes you and i said trade nash but everyone else treated us like we were the ones who killed the lindbergh kid

  • 61 NBA Draft Lottery 2013: Jazz lose to end Suns' lottery shot // Apr 18, 2013 at 12:54 am

    [...] The Suns will now receive the Miami Heat’s first round draft pick for 2013, which is set at the 30th overall slot. The pick was acquired in the trade that sent Nash to Los Angeles. [...]

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