Despite Toronto’s best shot (going so far as spending $20 million on Landry Fields to sabotage the Knicks’ sign-and-trade assets), it was the Los Angeles Lakers who ultimately ended up with the 8 time All Star despite only emerging as serious contenders for his services last night. Nash has agreed to a 3 year $27 million contract (a paycut from the 3 years $36 million Toronto was offering). The Lakers, being over the salary cap, had to sort out a sign-and-trade agreement with the Suns, and sent back 2 first round draft picks and 2 second round picks along with the $8.9 million trade exception they received from the Lamar Odom deal to facilitate the deal.
Nash’s decision to play for the Lakers seems to go against his earlier statements about not wanting to play for a former rival, and that he would definitely be considering money as an important factor. However, it seems that family concerns and a chance to win a ring overrode those factors. LA is just an hour’s flight away from Phoenix, where his family is based, and this ability to be close to his kids was said to be an important factor in his decision. On the court, he is certainly an upgrade over Steve Blake and Ramon Sessions and his presence could certainly help propel the Lakers back to championship contention.