Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Just hours after a report surfaced that the Knicks were the favorite to land free agent point guard Steve Nash, the two-time NBA MVP stunned the basketball world by agreeing to a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to reports.
Nash will reportedly sign a three-year deal worth $27 million. The Lakers could swing the deal thanks to the trade exception they received by sending Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks last season.
The Suns will receive 2013 and 2015 first-round picks and 2013 and 2014 second-round picks from the Lakers, according to the Arizona Republic.
“After talking with [Suns owner] Robert [Sarver] and [president of basketball operations] Lon [Babby] we’ve agreed that it’s time for both of us to move in new directions,” Nash told ESPN.com. “I approached them and asked if they would be willing to do a sign and trade deal with L.A. because it is very important to me to stay near my children and family.
“They were very apprehensive and didn’t want to do it. Fortunately for me, they reconsidered. They saw that they were able to get assets for their team that will make them better, assets they would not have otherwise had and it made sense for them to do a deal that helps their team get better.”
Nash is divorced but has three children who live in the Phoenix area, and this deal allows him to remain close to them.
“This is what I call a family values contract,” Nash’s agent Bill Duffytold USA TODAY Sports. “He was seriously considering retiring so he could remain close to his children. We had to twist his arm to have an open mind. He didn’t want to be away from his children, and this allows him to be in a competitive situation, and even though it’s a rival, he wanted Phoenix to get some value back. It’s a win-win.”
The Knicks were trying to secure Nash in a sign-and-trade, even willing to surrender second-year guard Iman Shumpert.Jeremy Lin met with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday and has reportedly also received interest from the Dallas Mavericks, who missed out on both Deron Williams (Nets) and Nash.
Re-signing Lin would now seem to be priority No. 1 for the Knicks.
Jason Kidd is also still an option, as is former Knick Raymond Felton, both of whom the Knicks could sign with the $3.09 million midlevel exception.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.