The Lakers are poised to make a big free agent splash this summer or the next, and Steve Nash is the lynchpin to the decision.
If the Lakers want to go big this offseason, they’ll use the stretch provision on Nash, spreading the amount they owe him across the cap the next three years.
But if they want to wait until 2015 to make their mark, they’ll keep Nash next season for the final year of his contract and be done with him (at least at that price).
Sounds like they’ve already made up their mind.
And the fact is, as of this time, that Nash will get one last chance to play next season with the Lakers, who are not planning a free-agent spending spree this summer and are therefore thinking it does not make sense to use the stretch provision to waive Nash.
Everything goes out the window if LeBron James opts out of his Heat contract and is interested in the Lakers this summer, but otherwise the Lakers plan to piece a roster together again next season aroundKobe Bryant and save their cap space for 2015 free agents such as Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and maybe James.
“Yeah,” Nash said Tuesday night about the Lakers letting him play it out next season. “It sounds like it.”
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $120,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Wednesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $13,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
That’s bad news for Carmelo Anthony if he had any desire to join the Lakers. Even if Los Angeles weren’t his top choice, it’s one fewer potential option.
From the Lakers’ perspective, this makes sense.
I’d rather pair Kobe Bryant with Love, Aldridge or Gasol, anyway — maybe even Rondo too, health permitting. Melo and Kobe just overlap too much, and they’d step on each other’s toes more than they complement each other.
Obviously, LeBron is and should be the top priority if he’s interested, but that seems like a pipe dream.
Other 2014 free agents beyond those two are pretty underwhelming.
The real difference makers are in the class of 2015. Even if not all of them make it to free agency, the class of stars is deep enough that at least a few should. At that point, I like the Lakers’ odds of getting one.
I’m a little surprised the Lakers plan to take the patient approach, but they should be applauded if they follow through. It’s the right move.