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.