CineSport—The Suns and Lakers have agreed to a sign-and-trade that sends Steve Nash to Los Angeles and nets Phoenix four future draft picks. Nash will receive a three-year deal in excess of $25 million.
The Nash deal is the latest in an offseason filled with moves that have drastically altered the landscape of the NBA. With plenty more free agents and possible trades to come, where does the sport stand as of right now?
Brooklyn Nets’ GM Billy King has taken fans on an emotional roller coaster ride throughout the last few seasons. The Nets haven’t made the playoffs since the 2007 season, yet King has fans feeling positive after the Nets’ biggest offseason in recent memory.
Their offseason started with Gerald Wallace signing a fresh four-year deal after opting out of his former contract that came with him from Portland in March.
Then came the Joe Johnson deal. The Nets have the ability take on the $90 million left on Johnson’s monster contract. They did not have to give up much, as G Anthony Morrow was the only starter who was moved in the trade and Johnson will give the Nets a huge boost at the SG position.
Lastly came the “pièce de résistance” of the Nets’ offseason. Deron Williams, one of the league’s premier players, decided to re-sign with the team instead of leaving for his hometown Dallas Mavericks. The offseason would have been looked at as a bust if not for this deal, but all worked out in the Nets’ favor.
The Nets’ also have the possibility of acquiring Dwight Howard for MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries, which would complete an already outstanding offseason.
With the acquisition of Nash, the Lakers became an immediate threat to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference. A second-round playoff team last season, they upgraded the only glaring weakness on the team. The Lakers have also been linked to a potential Dwight Howard deal, which would make them an instant championship favorite.
With Nash on his way to Los Angeles, the Raptors become an immediate loser in this year’s offseason. Their biggest move so far as been signing Landry Fields to a $20 million offer sheet that the Knicks are not likely going to match. It’s a hefty contract for a backup SG whose shooting percentage has decreased since entering the league.
The Knicks are also looking like offseason losers so far. They are going to have to shell out $30 million over four years to keep Jeremy Lin, who is going to sign an offer sheet with the Rockets, and they also missed out on Steve Nash. The Eastern Conference’s 7th seed last season, the Knicks haven’t improved at all this offseason, while their cross-town rivals have been major players.
The Knicks haven’t been linked to a Dwight Howard deal nearly as often as the Lakers or Nets, but, they have some pieces to offer. The Knicks could give up G Iman Shumpert and C Tyson Chandler, two defensive stalwarts. Such a move would rejuvenate the fan base and help the Knicks win a playoff series, a feat that has eluded them since the 1999-2000 season.
The Atlanta Hawks had a very underrated offseason. Since becoming the GM, Danny Ferry has shed the team’s two worst contracts and set the Hawks up for the future. The aforementioned Joe Johnson trade took $90 million off of their hands and acquired Devin Harris as well. With the Hawks’ moves, they will have the cap space to make a move for both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard next offseason.
Whatever happens with Dwight Howard will make an already intriguing offseason even more exciting. If he is traded to Brooklyn, Los Angeles or Manhattan, he will make that team an instant championship contender. Or we could be looking at The Decision 2.0 next offseason, where teams like the Hawks and Rockets would become players. This offseason has greatly changed the landscape of the league, but a Dwight Howard trade would cause a seismic shift.
The Los Angeles Lakers acquired two-time MVP Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade Wednesday night. The 38-year old averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists for a team that, with no 20-point scorer, nearly snagged the final playoff spot in the West . The pass first point guard will join Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum after agreeing to a three-year contract in excess of $25 million. The Lakers used their trade exception from last year's Lamar Odom deal to fit Nash into their salary cap. The Suns will receive L.A.'s first-round picks in 2013 and 2015 and their second round picks in 2013 and 2014.