Desperate Lakers Overpay For Steve Nash

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Give Mitch Kupchak credit. He had to do something to try and make it seem like he and his part-time boss Jim Buss were doing something to win a title. Too bad giving up four valuable draft picks for a past-his-prime Steve Nash won’t get this team over the hump.

Yeah, I’m the guy at the end of the bar shrugging his shoulders at the breaking news.

Nash is a beyond obvious upgrade at point guard. Watching Ramon Sessions vanish in the playoffs was more disappointing than seeing Smush Parker starting in the playoffs. The former two-time MVP proved he’s still got plenty left in the tank. And for whatever it’s worth he’s a nice door prize in the Chris Paul sweepstakes even if that came about 10 months too late.

Still, Nash does nothing to help improve this team defensively. He’s a guard that has thrived in a system that allows him to monopolize the ball. How’s that going to work with Kobe Bryant requiring the rock more often that Pookie?

How is Nash going to improve the team’s depth? Better yet how is this team ever going to turn the page and move forward if it keeps mortgaging the future for veteran players that won’t be worth their contract after one year of service?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that Kupchak didn’t take the Trust Fund Buss approach to sitting on your hands and hoping the results will be different even though the approach is the same. It’s nice to know this team is still willing to go for the gold even though they’ve got a roster built to compete for the bronze.

There is still no depth beyond the starting five. There is still no cap relief once we circle back to the tired debate of the Lakers being too old. Yeah, in case you’re stuck in 2006 Nash has aged and the game of 38-year-old point guards tends fall off faster than like Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner with a blindfold on.

The Lakers are addressing their problems by adding more problems. They’re now worse defensively. They’re older. And for good measure they’ve taken on more money to keep them out of the free agent market for another two years. Unless this move is meant to setup another it’s nothing more than another new rug underneath a leaking roof.

I admire the spirit of the move but the reality is this is yet another Band-Aid applies to a bleeding artery. Kupchak isn’t saving the Lakers. He’s only dragging out their death. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Kupchak previously avoided a Kobe meltdown by selling the team’s future for Pau Gasol, a player entering his prime and poised to produce at an All-Star level. That got us two more titles but left the team where it is now – at the crossroads. This time around Kupchak knew he had to do something that would generate headlines. Nash ignites title talk but that doesn’t necessarily equate title status. He’s a player on the decline with no proven championship mettle.

Sometimes that guy waving in the water is actually drowning. The Lakers waved a championship flag today. Too bad that flag is made of white cloth.

Topics: Chris Paul, Jim Buss, Kobe Bryant, Mitch Kupchak, Pau Gasol, Ramon Sessions, Smush Parker, Steve Nash

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  • CarlosSandoval

    MAN, I dont know. You’re right, we’re mortgaging our future for veterans despite the need to get young, but Nash has that Stockton-longevity factor to him. His PER is still at 20 and he’s still getting double digit assists. He’s not slowing down like he should be. 
     
    This is a “championship or bust” season, as it’s been declared now. There is no setting up for the future. Next year will be a totally different deal, but I feel like this makes us contenders. Plus, it sets the stage for yet another possibly big trade, perhaps Dwight Howard

  • dciapala

    This article right here is why I usually don’t bother reading this blog….won’t make that mistake again.

  • CarlosSandoval

     @dciapala You love us.

  • blacknform

    Yeah this is myopic at best. This old tired idea that after 30 your done is wearing thin. Grant Hill, Nash, Duncan, the celtics, pundits like yourself at the start of last season had these teams being no contest for the youth. It simply was not true then won’t be now. When did defense become the Lakers problem? We’re we not pretty good last year ? Did we not shalack the thunder for all but the last few minutes of all but one game? We’re those last few minutes problems defense? No it was on offense that we struggled not D. Sure our pick and roll D was bad but it’s been bad since the championship days. Our problem was a lack of good shooting which could very well have done with the lack of floor spacing due to the lack of a true PG. enter Nash. As previously started he is in the Stockton mold and where oh where did you get the idea that PG is a position that faders fast from Kidd? Nash who was predicted last year to be past his prime, Stockton? No this trade is a great trade. As long as Kobe is there we will never get picks worth anything because we will always be playoff guys we would be that middle team that loses either way due to not being bad enough to Lotto, good enough to title contend. Nash plays no D he’s getting older and his speed will fade in a year or two but he adds a whole lot more than he takes away.

  • mikenike310

    lol wow you guys really hate the lakers.

  • CarlosSandoval

     @mikenike310 Nah. It’s things like this that prove our love for the Lakers.
     
    There are critical fans — like our man Shell — and optimistic ones, like myself. Being one or the other doesn’t make you less or more of a fan.

  • Chris Shellcroft

     @blacknform Defense not a problem? Which Laker team were you watching? They began the year looking like a great defensive team and by the end of the season the wheels had fallen off. I think you’re overlooking why the Lakers lost to the Thunder. Yes, the offense was a huge problem in critical stretches. But they blew leads too. When you blow leads it means you’re not executing on offense and you’re not getting stops on defense. Nash will be eaten alive by Parker and Westbrook in a 7 game series.
     
    Also, you can miss me with all the talk of age doesn’t matter. Who won the title? Forget about who was runner up or third best team in the league. Not to mention the Spurs aren’t old anymore. Duncan is and he was nothing close to what he once was last season. The Lakers got older and worse defensively for a coach whose forte is supposed to be defense.
     
    I appreciate the spirit of the trade but this move alone will not take this team to Titletown.

  • Chris Shellcroft

     @CarlosSandoval I really do hope this is setting the stage for another move. Nash isn’t done but he’s on the decline. No doubt about that. His three point shooting has declined each of the last three years. His defense was never any good and now he’s expected to be guarding Westbrook and Parker in crunchtime? I don’t like it.
     
    Eventually the Lakers have to start thinking beyond the next season. Giving away all these draft picks does nothing for the prospects of improving because once again we’ll be asking the exact same questions again after next season ends with a loss in the Conference Finals…if we’re lucky enough.
     
    If this is a championship or bust season then right now it’s still a bust. Mike Brown can’t coach offense to save his life so you already know he’s just to going to rely on Nash and Kobe to figure that out. He can coach defense but now he’s  got a guard that doesn’t defend at all. We’ll see. For now I think all we’ve done is make this team good enough to get into the argument but not nearly improved enough to hang another banner.

  • lakersfan713

    That’s just stupid, and so are you.
     
    First, Nash has shown almost no signs of decline.  His assit rate and raw numbers are as high or higher than ever.  His shooting percentage is as high as ever. His game is built on smarts, court vision, passing ability, and the ability to run the pick and roll to perfection.
     
    So now we have that Kobe guy – you know, the #5 all-time leading scorer in NBA history and undeniably the 2nd best SG ever – coupled with a sweet, sweet passing PF.  Three guys who each may have hte highest basketball IQs at their respective positions in the league.
     
    Personally, I’d give up to 1st rounders in themid to low 20s in a heartbeat for this.
     
    Defense isn’t worse; it’s unchanged.  If anyone knows how to do PG-deficient D, it’s the Lakers.  After all, even though he’s slowing down, they still have that other guard – what’s his name again? – who’s made, what, 9 or 10 All-NBA defensive teams?
     
    Depth: they can still get depth.  How’s this affected by the Nash deal?  They just have to pci kthe right couple of players with their mini-MLE and min salary tools.  Between Goudlelock and Darius Earvin-Kareem-Worthy-Johnson-Odom, it looks like at least one of them will be a shooter.  And don’t you think having one of the best PGs, oh, you know, EVER, in practice every day, who happens to be on a 2 or 3 years fixed plan to retirement, might just help out a guy like Darius Morris, who’s a pass-first PG but needs to become a real NBA player?  Instead of him having Derek Fisher (we love ‘ya, but you were always a short SG) or Ramon Sessions (That’s my job, not yours, for the long term).
     
    Does this guarantee a title? Of course not.  is this a big, big day for the Lakers?  Absolutely.

  • lakersfan713

    Okay, that came out a little more negative than I wanted.  That’s why I should proof-read these things, which I don’t do.  Sorry.
     
    You really are looking at this too negatively, though.  Nash’s game isn’t built on speed.  His shooting touch is still there.  He’s a guy who can, and is, still playing at a very high level.  He and Kobe and Gasol will figure it out.  All of that passing and scoring ability?  Great things will be in store.
     
    I for one think Kobe will be better and more efficient at this stage of his career off the ball with a real PG.
     
    Who cares about the future -  this team is built for the now.  If they were thinking about the future, they would’ve amnestied Kobe (stop laughing, and no I’m not advocating that), traded Gasol for a trade exception and draft picks, and either traded Bynum or tell him that he has the con.  That’s not how the Lakers operate, and it’s not how they’ve ever, ever operated.
     
    Don’t worry, 2015 and beyond will work out.  It always does.

  • Chris Shellcroft

     @lakersfan713 All good homie! We love our team so it’s natural to have strong opinions.
     
    I feel where you’re coming from and agree with many of the points you’ve made. My problem is this is a win now move but this is a team that still isn’t in a position to win now or next year.
     
    You can quote Nash’s stats all day long. Those are nice for fantasy hoops but when you watch the Suns games you realize they’ve been protecting him the last few years. He doesn’t play big minutes. He’s often on the sideline for very long stretches. The Lakers really need to make sure they’ve got a backup plan. Kobe Bryant with all his wear and tear was logging major tick on the court. Nash, on the other hand, can only give you 30 minutes a night. That means you’re looking at serious rotation issues for a coach in Mike Brown that has no clue how to create a consistent and  effective rotation.
     
    I like the move to acquire Nash. It is bold. But giving up all these picks and signing a guy for three years when he’s got one maybe two more left in him is only going to make sure we’re right back where we started again with an aging vet that has a cap figure nobody is going to assume and all kinds of needs across the board that cannot be addressed through the draft.
     
     

  • blacknform

     @Chris Shellcroft  Yes Chris Defense not as A problem but not THE problem. Your mistaking a weakness in a defense for bad defense. Ill use an NFL team as an example.  The 49ers had a great team defense last year no one will say otherwise. BUT there was a glaring weakness in the defense which was the secondary. They gave up near 300 yds a game and over 400 to elite QB’s. Very funny because while the Lakers remained in the upper half of the NBA ALL season long finishing at 14th which is not great but def not bad. The glaring weakness is that we were torched by PG’s. Which didn’t get any better after sessions joined the team. But was that truly THE reason why we lost to the thunder? If so why then did the Heat win getting torched by the very same PG. Westbrook absolutely went off on them, Durant wasn’t far behind. Harden struggled in their series as he did in ours. Harden actually struggled throughout the playoffs. Second your really gonna have to show me where youth was THE factor that led to the heat beating the thunder in order to prove that age was why we lost. I saw the heat do the very same things to the thunder they did to us I don’t see where youth can do anything to do with age. Durant hit a three pointer from like 35 ft out, did he dribble past artest and blow by him..NO. Westbrook hit the same shots off the same pick and rolls he lit the much younger Heat team with. Your not stopping that 23 or 40. The defenses of those top 5 teams in the NBA canceled each other out. As it did in the very youthful finals, in the end it became about shot making my man. Miller hit his and helped hi team, chalmers hit his and helped his team, harden didn’t he was open lots o time but he didn’t hit them. Neither did any of the other teammates missing wide open layups at times. The lakers didn’t hit theirs the celtics didn’t hit theirs. At times did age show no doubt, but the DECIDING factor? No We play good enough def to get the job done but Nash will make the difference on offense or he wont. Your logic in blaming the defense is simply flawed.