Report: Lakers offered Nash, draft picks for Rondo

It reportedly will take a rather hefty offer to convince the Boston Celtics to part ways with Rajon Rondo. This one probably won’t get the job done.
The Los Angeles Lakers have offered the Celtics a package of point guard Steve Nash and “multiple draft picks” in exchange for Rondo, sources told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne on Thursday.
Rondo obviously would help the flailing Lakers, but that return is … less than favorable, to say the least. Nash is basically retired — he’s 40 and hasn’t played all season — and L.A.’s upcoming crop of draft picks isn’t a particularly appealing one.
The Dallas Mavericks appeared to be the front-runners in the Rondo sweepstakes as of Thursday afternoon.
Thumbnail photo via Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
Filed under: Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Top Stories, Zack Cox

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Lakers Reportedly Awarded $4.85 Million Disabled Player Exception for Steve Nash

The Los Angeles Lakers lost veteran Steve Nash for the season due to a back injury, but they are reportedly set to receive some compensation due to the disabled player exception.    

Brian Windhorst of ESPN initially passed along the news:

Nash has played in just 65 games over the last two seasons with the Lakers. The former Phoenix Suns star holds averages of 11.4 points and 6.4 assists per game during that span.

Back in October, the Lakers made the news of his injury official along with quotes from Nash and general manager Mitch Kupchak:

The Lakers have been ravaged by injuries this season, including the recent loss of Xavier Henry for the season due to a ruptured Achilles, per ESPN.com’s Baxter Holmes, as well as the loss of promising rookie Julius Randle to a broken leg. Receiving the return on Nash should help lessen some of the blow from another down season.

Jeremy Lin (12.1 PPG, 4.9 APG) has stepped up in place of Nash, but the team is still 3-11 entering Tuesday night and well outside of the playoff chase. Getting value back for Nash’s injury allows the team a chance to help bolster the roster in the future.

 

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Rumblings on J.R. Smith and Steve Nash

There will be a time later in the 2014-15 NBA season when the hot stove is on full blast and cooking up juicy rumors left and right.

In mid-November, it is simply simmering, with the occasional rumor popping up as something of an appetizer before things eventually get serious. Some of that early trade buzz recently surrounded J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks and Steve Nash of the Los Angeles Lakers.

With that in mind, read on to see the latest from around the Association.

 

J.R. Smith

Marc Berman of the New York Post passed along an update regarding Smith and his early-season adjustments with the Knicks:

J.R. Smith, who scored 19 points, in particular, has seemed uncomfortable in the offense. Smith, who could have gained some redemption by hitting the final shot in Wednesday’s loss, is a big trade candidate and the Pacers have some interest.

Smith can opt out of his contract after the season, but he still could opt in, costing the Knicks cap space. They believe there is a strong market for Smith and aren’t looking to just dump him for an expiring contract, according to a league source. 

This is not the first time the Indiana Pacers have been connected to Smith this season, but Bob Kravitz of WTHR TV shot down the notion that Chris Copeland would be the player Indiana sent back in a potential swap:

Indiana could certainly use a scorer considering it is 29th in the league in points per game at 91.7 and still reeling on the offensive side without a healthy Paul George, George Hill or Rodney Stuckey. That’s not even mentioning the fact that Lance Stephenson is currently lacing it up for the Charlotte Hornets.

In the last eight years, the lowest per-game scoring total Smith posted for an entire season was 12.3 in 2010-11 and 2007-08, and he scored 18.1 points per game in 2012-13. The Pacers could use some of that scoring early this season.

The other note of interest in that rumor is the Knicks’ belief that they can get something of value back for Smith rather than just getting rid of his salary. Smith is only shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 25.9 percent from three-point range in the early going and is scoring 9.6 points a game.

The best hope from the Knicks is that the rest of the league assumes Smith is struggling to grasp the triangle offense and would be better off elsewhere.

Even if that were the case, it may take some time before Smith is actually moved if these comments from Knicks president Phil Jackson are any indication, via Berman in a separate piece: “This is going to happen, all part of the process. We think in terms of basketball-wise, Thanksgiving, December, it’s time to really say, ‘If you haven’t gotten [the triangle] by now, maybe we’ll have to think of you as a learner or not a learner as a ballplayer at that time.” 

It is certainly wise for the Knicks to show some patience as Jackson and coach Derek Fisher institute a brand new system for a team that struggled mightily a season ago. However, if Smith continues to shoot a poor percentage from the field and doesn’t really find a role in this offense, he will likely be on the trade market by the holiday season.

 

Steve Nash

Marc Stein of ESPN.com updated fans on the status of injured point guard Nash:

With respect to injured guard Steve Nash, meanwhile, sources say that the Lakers are still evaluating their options.

As ESPN.com reported last month when Nash was ruled out for the 2014-15 season because of recurring nerve issues with his back, Lakers officials are planning to explore the trade market for potential deals between now and the February trade deadline with Nash’s $9.7 million expiring contract.

It is difficult to see one of the greatest players of his generation and a former league MVP reduced to an injured salary-dump chip in a potential trade, but that is the reality for the Lakers and Nash at this point.

From Los Angeles’ perspective, if it can get anything at all in return for Nash, it should pull the trigger. 

The Lakers are not competing for anything this season except for better draft position (if their pick in the upcoming draft is in the top five, they get to keep it), but they need to keep an eye on the future. What’s more, Los Angeles needs some depth across the entire positional board, so lumping Nash’s salary in any trade that could land something back seems ideal.

Los Angeles simply needs bodies at this point with Nash and Julius Randle out for the season and Nick Young and Ryan Kelly dealing with temporary ailments. If the Lakers can get that in any deal involving Nash, they should not hesitate to make the move.

 

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NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Rumblings on Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart and Steve Nash

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are the two cornerstones of the NBA in terms of historical success and championships. 

However, they have both fallen on hard times in the 2014-15 season and are more interesting when they pop up in trade rumors than when they actually take the court.

With that in mind, here is a look at some trade whispers surrounding two point guards from the historic franchises, Rajon Rondo and Steve Nash.

 

Rajon Rondo and Marcus Smart

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald provided an update on Rondo and Smart, courtesy of a league scout:

One league scout also buys into the theory that Smart — once he returns from his ankle injury — won’t fully develop as long as he plays behind Rondo.

“I think they’ve got to get rid of Rondo because they drafted a good, young point guard,” the scout said. “Marcus Smart is a franchise-type point guard or can be, I think, who needs to play to be good. He’s fast and he defends. And you don’t say that about rookies.”

This quote from the anonymous scout is certainly interesting considering Rondo is an established star in this league and Marcus Smart is an unproven rookie. On the surface, it may not make a ton of sense if Boston wants to compete for a playoff spot this year.

However, Rondo will turn 29 this season, and the Boston Celtics are nowhere near contending for a title with the way the roster is currently constructed.

Rondo would certainly bring back more young assets or draft picks than any other player Boston could offer in a trade, which is critical at this rebuilding stage. A young core of Smart, Jared Sullinger and James Young would at least be a start, and the Celtics would bring in a couple more pieces in a hypothetical Rondo trade.

What’s more, it would fully open up the point guard duties for Smart, who was already playing defense at an impressive level before he injured his ankle. He is averaging 1.2 steals a night and is third on the team in his five games in defensive box plus/minus (0.3), according to Basketball-Reference.com

If the Celtics do trade Rondo, they could better assess what they have in the young point guard moving forward.

 

Steve Nash

Marc Stein of ESPN.com passed along the latest on Steve Nash and the thinking from the Lakers regarding the injured point guard:

With respect to injured guard Steve Nash, meanwhile, sources say that the Lakers are still evaluating their options.

As ESPN.com reported last month when Nash was ruled out for the 2014-15 season because of recurring nerve issues with his back, Lakers officials are planning to explore the trade market for potential deals between now and the February trade deadline with Nash’s $9.7 million expiring contract.

It is important to note that Stein offered this update from the previous report because the Los Angeles Lakers were granted a disabled player exception by the NBA on Monday in light of Julius Randle’s season-ending injury.

Los Angeles can use that exception to bring in a free agent, provided he is worth up to $1,498,680 (50 percent of Randle’s rookie salary) or trade for a player in the last year of an expiring contract making $1,598,680 (trades allow an extra $100,000 with exceptions).

It’s not like the Lakers would land some impressive asset who would accelerate the rebuilding process if they traded Nash, but Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders added some context to the possibility of moving Nash:

Given the Lakers’ need for contributors all around the court – specifically in the backcourt – the idea that Los Angeles could potentially look to lump his contract into a deal isn’t beyond the realm of possibility. While there are no reports of any such negotiations currently, it wouldn’t surprise us to hear about the Lakers and Suns at least discussing the chances of a Nash return to the Valley of the Sun so that he can retire with the organization he played the bulk of his Hall of Fame career with. 

That would work for both sides.

 

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Steve Nash pens heartfelt letter to Lakers fans

Lakers guard Steve Nash is pretty much looking right at the end of his career in the NBA. He has been beset by injuries which has derailed his time in L.A. and this season is no different.
Considering the Lakers are dealing with their own issues on the court dealing with what pretty much is going to be a losing season, Nash took time to address his situation with LA fans and to let them know he will not be much of a distraction this season. 

I definitely don’t want to be a distraction, but I felt it best everyone heard from me in my own words.
I have a ton of miles on my back. Three buldging disks (a tear in one), stenosis of the nerve route and spondylolisthesis. I suffer from sciatica and after games I often can’t sit in the car on the drive home, which has made for some interesting rides. Most nights I’m bothered by severe cramping in both calves while I sleep, a result of the same damn nerve routes, and the list goes on somewhat comically. That’s what you deserve for playin…

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Lakers G Nash addresses criticism over golf video (Yahoo Sports)

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19: Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before a game against the Utah Jazz at STAPLES Center on October 19, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Steve Nash responded to criticism Friday from Los Angeles Lakers fans over a recent Instagram video showing the injured guard swinging a golf club.


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Nash defends himself in open letter to Lakers fans

Nash posted a video of himself playing golf earlier this week.

      
 

 

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Steve Nash writes open letter to Lakers fans

Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash is one of the good guys in professional sports. Since his days at Santa Clara, there has always been something special about the way Nash played the game of basketball.
And now that his career could very well be over after yet another injury, Nash sent out an open letter to Lakers fans via Facebook.
Here is the letter. 

I definitely don’t want to be a distraction, but I felt it best everyone heard from me in my own words.
I have a ton of miles on my back. Three buldging disks (a tear in one), stenosis of the nerve route and spondylolisthesis. I suffer from sciatica and after games I often can’t sit in the car on the drive home, which has made for some interesting rides. Most nights I’m bothered by severe cramping in both calves while I sleep, a result of the same damn nerve routes, and the list goes on somewhat comically. That’s what you deserve for playing over 1,300 NBA games. By no means do I tell you this for sympathy – especially since I see these ail

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Steve Nash Releases Statement on Back Injury, Time with the Lakers and More

Having remained for the most part silent after announcing he was out for the year, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash penned an open letter to his Facebook fans late Friday night.

Nash has suffered from chronic back injuries over the last few years, and his message illustrated just how serious the problem is.

“I suffer from sciatica and after games I often can’t sit in the car on the drive home, which has made for some interesting rides,” he wrote. “Most nights I’m bothered by severe cramping in both calves while I sleep, a result of the same damn nerve routes, and the list goes on somewhat comically.”

Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy said he thought Nash wanted to respond to those wondering how he could swing a golf club but not play basketball:

The letter won’t help those Lakers fans still bitter with Nash after he played in just 65 games during his first two years with the team.

But the post certainly revealed Nash’s daily struggles with injuries and just how high a price he’s paid to become one of the best point guards of his generation.

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Cuban: Letting go of Nash was my worst move

“I learned an expensive lesson,” he said.

      
 

 

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