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Doolittle: Lakers a fit for Steve Nash


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#1 Jackson

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 09:36 AM

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This year's free-agent class is unusual in that perhaps the most interesting player on the market is probably not going to be the one who draws anywhere near the most dollars. Steve Nash is a two-time MVP who once again led the NBA in assists, but he's 38 years old and likely has just three more years to win a title. Clearly that's not going to happen with the Phoenix Suns, so while Nash has been admirably loyal to the Suns over the years, chances are he's going to be donning a new uniform in 2012-13.

For any player weighing his options, there are four basic criteria:

1. Chance to win
2. Money
3. On-court fit
4. Off-court fit

For Nash, you would think that the best combination of a No. 1 and No. 2 will carry the day, but you can't discount off-court fit either for a guy who is known as a cosmopolitan kind of dude. Money? Well, Nash has made $119 million in his career in salary, plus endorsements and shoes, etc., so one would think that is a secondary consideration. Some players can blow through huge sums of dough to be sure, but Nash doesn't strike me as the type to lead an opulent lifestyle.

But we can't get inside the head of any player, so we must make an educated guess. Here are different possible fits for Nash, beginning with the recently-eliminated Los Angeles Lakers.

Good fits

Lakers: For the first time in his career, Kobe Bryant was asked to play alongside a prototypical point guard in a non-triangle offense (unless you want to count Nick Van Exel back in the 1990s). While Ramon Sessions played really well alongside Bryant after coming over from the Cleveland Cavaliers during the regular season, he wilted in the playoffs. This promises to be a tumultuous offseason for the Lakers, who may be in on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, in which case they'd be giving up Pau Gasol and/or Andrew Bynum.

While Nash and Howard would be dynamic together, how does Bryant fit into that scenario? Is he really going to go from using 35 percent of his team's possessions to relinquishing control to Nash?

Perhaps ... if Mike D'Antoni were suddenly to enter the equation. You can imagine a season or three of Nash, Howard and Bryant in D'Antoni's free-wheeling offense, featuring the most dangerous pick-and-roll option in the game and the ultimate bail-out player in Bryant. You'd still have Metta World Peace around for spot-up shooting and defense, and this combination might entice a high-quality veteran to come along for the ride and a mini-midlevel exception. How about Malibu resident Kevin Garnett? Did I just blow your mind? Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of dominoes that would have to fall for this scenario to become reality.



#2 Real Deal

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 09:37 AM

If we can continue to withstand PG's lighting us up, sure. Nash plays less defense than Sessions, Blake and Fisher.

The entire idea is to get younger. Nash is still a good player, but his minutes are limited, significantly.

#3 True Lakers Fan

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 09:38 AM

If we can continue to withstand PG's lighting us up, sure. Nash plays less defense than Sessions, Blake and Fisher.




True. but his playmaking ability is phenomenal

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#4 NYCLakerfan

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 09:39 AM

I love Nash but I do not see him coming here, I hope the Lakers focus on getting Dragic or something he's not a superstar but he's aggressive and fearless unlike Sessions who should be a back up anyway.

#5 pointguard11

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 09:46 AM

Nash would solve a helluva lot of problems. Mainly making sure the offense is run smoothly and efficiently.
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#6 gque24

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 09:56 AM

No Nash cant find a ring with LA = He is old, slow, injury prone, & plays 0 defense. We dont need more slow unathletic players stop thinking baout these types of players they do nothing for LA Championship aspirations.
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#7 erfolk

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 09:56 AM

I love Nash but I do not see him coming here, I hope the Lakers focus on getting Dragic or something he's not a superstar but he's aggressive and fearless unlike Sessions who should be a back up anyway.

Exactly..... Now that Gasol for Dragic Martin And Scola is looking pretty good

#8 leor_77

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 10:02 AM

We don't have nearly enough money to sign him.

#9 pointguard11

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 10:02 AM

No Nash cant find a ring with LA = He is old, slow, injury prone, & plays 0 defense. We dont need more slow unathletic players stop thinking baout these types of players they do nothing for LA Championship aspirations.

A player of his caliber would do "nothing for LA"? Not the total answer but he would be great facilitator for our offense.
"The way Steve is as a teammate, the way he sets the tone, the way the team kind of takes on his persona. As a coach, that's the best thing in the world. It's easy to coach. He's taking care of the chemistry. You just coach."

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#10 Hollywood

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 10:10 AM

Nash would probably be played 40 minutes knowing brown
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#11 Kulver Keith

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 11:37 AM

Nash makes ALOT of since for the Lakers, but not in a vacuum. Eric Pincus has mentioned the Lakers would be interested in the likes of the Suns Markieff Moriss for the rangy, long athletic 6-11 foward we need. Pincus also seemed to speculate on news that Channing Frye may be had, was a fit for both the Lakers and Clippers as the post floor spacer that Mike Brown's system seems to call for. So...

Bynum + Filler for Nash(sign and trade at around the $10mil per hes looking for), Frye and Morris.

This is a win-win as most deals need to be to get done. Suns get Bynum at good price for the value when he extends and what better franchise for his knees with the Suns training staff? Bynum, Shannon Brown, Dudley, Warrick - he would do well there as the man.

As for the Lakers, we lose a DOMINANT Center, but a get a young, well-grounded and servicable one in Frye(who is essentailly a Stretch 5! - perfect fit for the likes of Jordan Hill, Morris, KG-most PFs that would be available.)

Lakers would get an athletic, defense-minded PF on a Rookie Contract in Morris.

And the Lakers would get Steve Nash, who with Sessions coming of the bench is precisely what we need. Assuming Pau is gone along with Steve Blake in this scenario and setting aside the haul they would bring in return, the Lakers would have:

C-Frye/Hill
F- Morris/?
F-Peace/?
G- Bryant/?
G- Nash/Sessions

Then you have Pau and Blake to bring in Beasley/Williams? Scola/Martin? Ellis?

Lastly, do not underestimate the value of Nash as a veteran leader getting respect from the refs, and Channing Frye is the guy you want when we do face Bynum, or Howard, or even Perkins, since he will draw them out of the paint.

#12 GCMD

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 12:05 PM

Nash's lack of defense is easily negated by DH's supreme awesomeness (yes I just used the word "awesomeness") as a defensive anchor.


Couple that with Nash putting us at or near the top of the NBA in scoring and that's a recipe for Ch'ips (plural).


Another option is moving Pau full time to C and trading Bynum/Barnes for Aldridge/Batum (if they part with him). Aldridge is a better help defender, floor spacer and runs the floor better than Bynum. Bynum is more dominant in the paint but Aldridge is easily one of the most skilled post players WITH a legit mid-range J. He can guard 4/5 and is not afraid of contact. Moving Pau to C puts him up against stronger players but he's likely to be faster than they are...and I'm not opposed to moving Pau for a bruising 5 who is not as talented offensively, just to get the toughness.



Can we win with this current unit? Yes...if all of the pieces fell into place...but they didn't this year.

Can we win with Kobe? Yes.


Should we trade Pau and/or Bynum? Only if the juice is worth the squeeze. We know what we need. Can we find someone who has that and wants what we have? Therein lies the rub.

#13 Instigator

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 12:06 PM

Worse defender than blake. No

#14 Inverse

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 12:07 PM

Nash makes ALOT of since for the Lakers, but not in a vacuum. Eric Pincus has mentioned the Lakers would be interested in the likes of the Suns Markieff Moriss for the rangy, long athletic 6-11 foward we need. Pincus also seemed to speculate on news that Channing Frye may be had, was a fit for both the Lakers and Clippers as the post floor spacer that Mike Brown's system seems to call for. So...

Bynum + Filler for Nash(sign and trade at around the $10mil per hes looking for), Frye and Morris.

This is a win-win as most deals need to be to get done. Suns get Bynum at good price for the value when he extends and what better franchise for his knees with the Suns training staff? Bynum, Shannon Brown, Dudley, Warrick - he would do well there as the man.

As for the Lakers, we lose a DOMINANT Center, but a get a young, well-grounded and servicable one in Frye(who is essentailly a Stretch 5! - perfect fit for the likes of Jordan Hill, Morris, KG-most PFs that would be available.)

Lakers would get an athletic, defense-minded PF on a Rookie Contract in Morris.

And the Lakers would get Steve Nash, who with Sessions coming of the bench is precisely what we need. Assuming Pau is gone along with Steve Blake in this scenario and setting aside the haul they would bring in return, the Lakers would have:

C-Frye/Hill
F- Morris/?
F-Peace/?
G- Bryant/?
G- Nash/Sessions

Then you have Pau and Blake to bring in Beasley/Williams? Scola/Martin? Ellis?

Lastly, do not underestimate the value of Nash as a veteran leader getting respect from the refs, and Channing Frye is the guy you want when we do face Bynum, or Howard, or even Perkins, since he will draw them out of the paint.


Horrible trade for the Lakers
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#15 ColStac

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 12:14 PM

What we need is athleticism.
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#16 underworldmike

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 12:40 PM

Nash makes ALOT of since for the Lakers, but not in a vacuum. Eric Pincus has mentioned the Lakers would be interested in the likes of the Suns Markieff Moriss for the rangy, long athletic 6-11 foward we need. Pincus also seemed to speculate on news that Channing Frye may be had, was a fit for both the Lakers and Clippers as the post floor spacer that Mike Brown's system seems to call for. So...

Bynum + Filler for Nash(sign and trade at around the $10mil per hes looking for), Frye and Morris.

This is a win-win as most deals need to be to get done. Suns get Bynum at good price for the value when he extends and what better franchise for his knees with the Suns training staff? Bynum, Shannon Brown, Dudley, Warrick - he would do well there as the man.

As for the Lakers, we lose a DOMINANT Center, but a get a young, well-grounded and servicable one in Frye(who is essentailly a Stretch 5! - perfect fit for the likes of Jordan Hill, Morris, KG-most PFs that would be available.)

Lakers would get an athletic, defense-minded PF on a Rookie Contract in Morris.

And the Lakers would get Steve Nash, who with Sessions coming of the bench is precisely what we need. Assuming Pau is gone along with Steve Blake in this scenario and setting aside the haul they would bring in return, the Lakers would have:

C-Frye/Hill
F- Morris/?
F-Peace/?
G- Bryant/?
G- Nash/Sessions

Then you have Pau and Blake to bring in Beasley/Williams? Scola/Martin? Ellis?

Lastly, do not underestimate the value of Nash as a veteran leader getting respect from the refs, and Channing Frye is the guy you want when we do face Bynum, or Howard, or even Perkins, since he will draw them out of the paint.


I do not like this. Id rather have gasol and bynum
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#17 Mr.Showtime

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 05:54 PM

Nash makes ALOT of since for the Lakers, but not in a vacuum. Eric Pincus has mentioned the Lakers would be interested in the likes of the Suns Markieff Moriss for the rangy, long athletic 6-11 foward we need. Pincus also seemed to speculate on news that Channing Frye may be had, was a fit for both the Lakers and Clippers as the post floor spacer that Mike Brown's system seems to call for. So...

Bynum + Filler for Nash(sign and trade at around the $10mil per hes looking for), Frye and Morris.

This is a win-win as most deals need to be to get done. Suns get Bynum at good price for the value when he extends and what better franchise for his knees with the Suns training staff? Bynum, Shannon Brown, Dudley, Warrick - he would do well there as the man.

As for the Lakers, we lose a DOMINANT Center, but a get a young, well-grounded and servicable one in Frye(who is essentailly a Stretch 5! - perfect fit for the likes of Jordan Hill, Morris, KG-most PFs that would be available.)

Lakers would get an athletic, defense-minded PF on a Rookie Contract in Morris.

And the Lakers would get Steve Nash, who with Sessions coming of the bench is precisely what we need. Assuming Pau is gone along with Steve Blake in this scenario and setting aside the haul they would bring in return, the Lakers would have:

C-Frye/Hill
F- Morris/?
F-Peace/?
G- Bryant/?
G- Nash/Sessions

Then you have Pau and Blake to bring in Beasley/Williams? Scola/Martin? Ellis?

Lastly, do not underestimate the value of Nash as a veteran leader getting respect from the refs, and Channing Frye is the guy you want when we do face Bynum, or Howard, or even Perkins, since he will draw them out of the paint.


Teams usually don't trade away big stars to other teams within their own division... I don't really see this happening at all.

#18 Warren2ThaG

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 05:57 PM

defense isnt needed at PG to win it all

Edited by Warren2ThaG, May 22, 2012 - 05:57 PM.

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#19 UKUGA

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 06:28 PM

Nash's lack of defense is easily negated by DH's supreme awesomeness (yes I just used the word "awesomeness") as a defensive anchor.


Couple that with Nash putting us at or near the top of the NBA in scoring and that's a recipe for Ch'ips (plural).


Another option is moving Pau full time to C and trading Bynum/Barnes for Aldridge/Batum (if they part with him). Aldridge is a better help defender, floor spacer and runs the floor better than Bynum. Bynum is more dominant in the paint but Aldridge is easily one of the most skilled post players WITH a legit mid-range J. He can guard 4/5 and is not afraid of contact. Moving Pau to C puts him up against stronger players but he's likely to be faster than they are...and I'm not opposed to moving Pau for a bruising 5 who is not as talented offensively, just to get the toughness.



Can we win with this current unit? Yes...if all of the pieces fell into place...but they didn't this year.

Can we win with Kobe? Yes.


Should we trade Pau and/or Bynum? Only if the juice is worth the squeeze. We know what we need. Can we find someone who has that and wants what we have? Therein lies the rub.



How solid a defender was Jason Kidd last year? Did he guard PGs, or was that left up to someone else (I honestly don't remember). Dallas, a notoriously absent defensive team was solid on D last year, in large part because of the presence of Tyson Chandler.

Considering the garbage we've trotted out at PG through the years (Ron Harper may have been our best since Van Exel was traded in 1998), I'm not going to quickly turn up my nose at Steve Nash, with the main argument against him being that he can't play defense.

In reality, how many really good PG defenders are out there? Rondo is the best, followed by perhaps Paul and/or Westbrook and Rose. (Throw in Harden now, too, I guess). But, are there really that many guys?

And, as you can see, these are also the top PGs in the league. Are we gonna get one of these? I think we all pretty much know that we aren't going into 2012/13 with Paul, Rondo, Westbrook, Harden or Rose on the roster.

So, after that, if our focus at PG is on offense, and giving Kobe the freedom to play without the ball and actually have someone create for him, who are we actually going to slot there that can play D?

I will tell you this - one thing Nash will do that will help our defense is run our offense so efficiently that the number of ill advised shots which lead to run outs the other way will be dramatically reduced.

Again, while I agree with the sentiment that the Lakers need to get younger and better, Nash is an elite PG who actually provides a skill set we desperately need.

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#20 Real Deal

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Posted May 22, 2012 - 10:07 PM

How solid a defender was Jason Kidd last year? Did he guard PGs, or was that left up to someone else (I honestly don't remember). Dallas, a notoriously absent defensive team was solid on D last year, in large part because of the presence of Tyson Chandler.

Kidd defended three positions last year, sometimes jumping over on LeBron in the Finals, when Marion was out of the game (and you're leaving out Marion, who was nearly as good of a defender as Chandler, just overlooked). Chandler, Marion and Kidd were the reason Dallas was such a great defensive team...and if you needed any sort of proof that Marion and Kidd were huge for them, just know that the Mavericks were 8th in total defense this year (and that's without Chandler), the same ranking they were last season, yet with a better defensive ranking this season (actually kind of surprises me).

In reality, how many really good PG defenders are out there? Rondo is the best, followed by perhaps Paul and/or Westbrook and Rose. (Throw in Harden now, too, I guess). But, are there really that many guys?

Taking a look at defensive numbers and just the way they play in general:

Rajon Rondo
Chris Paul
Russell Westbrook
Iman Shumpert
Avery Bradley
Jason Kidd
Derrick Rose
Jrue Holiday
Mario Chalmers
Eric Bledsoe
Jeff Teague
CJ Watson
Delonte West
Kyle Lowry
George Hill
Ricky Rubio

Of course, CJ Watson isn't going to be a legitimate starter, and we aren't getting Derrick Rose (among others), but those are a few defensively-talented PG's out there (sure I'm missing a couple).

I will tell you this - one thing Nash will do that will help our defense is run our offense so efficiently that the number of ill advised shots which lead to run outs the other way will be dramatically reduced.

Again, while I agree with the sentiment that the Lakers need to get younger and better, Nash is an elite PG who actually provides a skill set we desperately need.

Nash also runs a seven-second uptempo offense, very pick and roll heavy when he's not pushing the break.

So if we were to get Nash, we're going to have to do more than just bring him in. This team can't run like that.




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