Mar. 16, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash during game against the Detroit Pistons at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Pistons 109-101. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Trades & Free Agency: Steve Nash to Join L.A. Lakers

Steve Nash did everything Phoenix asked of him.  He didn’t demand a trade and he played hard for a team he knew could not realistically contend.

The same may not be true of his new team.

The Lakers have announced that they will send two first round picks and two second round picks to Phoenix in exchange for the 38 year old two time MVP.

Steve Nash may be just what the Lakers have needed.  Since moving away from the triangle offense following the departure of head coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers have struggled to find an identity with a traditional point guard.  The Lakers traded for Ramon Sessions last year at the trade deadline, but it just wasn’t enough.  With Kobe Bryant aging, the Lakers need a traditional point guard to allow Kobe to relax and play more off the ball.  Bryant can still create a lot of plays, but Nash will create even more.

Steve Nash may be just what Andrew Bynum has needed to kick his career into high gear.  Nash made Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire a premier force in the league when they played together in Phoenix, and he may be able to do just the same for Bynum.  Bynum has the tools and skill set to finish a lot of easy baskets, baskets which Nash can easily set up and facilitate.  It won’t hurt that Pau Gasol will still be lurking, too, another capable passer and a good set of hands to receive Nash’s passes.  Nash will enhance the Lakers bigs and make the team that much stronger.

The “Nash effect” will run deep on the team and his skills will shape the identity of the team and should allow the Lakers to return to contention.  It’s not often that teams are willing to give up four draft picks to land a 38 year old, but Nash is no ordinary 38 year old.  He can’t play forever, but he should be able to string together three more quality seasons and retire on top.  The Lakers are counting on it.

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