The rich get richer (from ESPN):
In an unforeseen twist that could thrust the Los Angeles Lakers straight back into title contention, two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash has successfully negotiated a sign-and-trade deal from the Phoenix Suns to the Lakers that will team him up with Kobe Bryant.
Sources told ESPN.com that Nash, with the New York Knicks also pressing hard to complete a similar sign-and-trade deal, was swayed to join the Lakers after a determined push from Bryant and because the move keeps him in the title hunt and allows him to stay in close proximity to his three children in Phoenix.
Nash will receive a three-year deal in excess of $25 million, sources said, because the Suns ultimately agreed to sign-and-trade him to the Lakers, who can absorb Nash via the trade exception they created by dealing Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks in December.
I'm really not sure how to feel about this one, on many levels. For one, I love Steve Nash. And don't particularly like the Lakers. But no matter how much I dislike the Lakers, I can never ever dislike Steve Nash. (This will only be compounded if Grant Hill joins Nash in LA)
I also...again....feel like this is just another reminder of how bad the Wolves have been post-KG. LA basically sold Nash the idea that they're a winning basketball team, backed up by their many years of being a winning basketball team. It's the same thing that happens with San Antonio, Boston, Miami....if you win, players will want to play for you. The Timberwolves do not win. Therefor....well, we all know how that story ends.
This just makes me like Batum all the more as well. Dude wants to be here. How often does an athlete....in any sport...just flat out say "I want to play in Minnesota".
At any rate, the Thunder and Heat just got put on notice, and the Spurs' closing window just got a whole lot narrower in a hurry.
Trying to defend a Nash/Gasol/Bynum pick-and-roll is going to be brutal. Absolutely brutal.