Commentary

Nash's winning dash to Lakers

Strong move, but will two-time MVP's talents thrive within Lakers' system?

Updated: July 8, 2012, 5:50 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com
It's a testament to Steve Nash's amazing efficiency that, at the age of 38, five teams were fighting for the right to give him a multiyear contract for several million dollars a season.

And it's a testament to the creativity of the Suns and Lakers that we got a surprise winner. Phoenix realized it had the ability to get assets back in a sign-and-trade deal when Nash unexpectedly developed a yen for the Lakers, partially redeeming the Suns after the scathing criticism the franchise took over the past year for not trading Nash before he hit free agency.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, gets a major upgrade and a few questions that go with it. On the one hand, Nash is far better than any predecessor at point guard in the Kobe-Shaq era. Also, Laker point guards spot up as much as anyone in the league, and nobody is a deadlier shooter than Nash. And if Nash plays anywhere near his level of recent seasons, the contract is a great value. On the other hand, they're wasting a lot of Nash's talents if all they do is spot him up on the weak side. Nash is a brilliant pick-and-roll operator with the ball in his hands, but his game is an odd fit with the ball-stopping isos that Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum prefer. (Speaking of which, the first time Kobe yells at Nash should be a hoot.) Additionally, this doesn't exactly solve the glaring athleticism deficit L.A. faced in losing to Oklahoma City in the second round a year ago.

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