Steve Nash has spent most of his two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers sidelined by leg and back injuries. Many feel he should just retire, but Nash claims he’s fully committed to playing in 2014-15 and finishing out the final year of his contract.
While the Lakers currently claim they plan on having him back next year, they could waive him under the “stretch provision” to create extra salary cap room. Such a move would spread the $9.7 million Nash is due over three years instead of having the entire contract on the books for next season. That could help the team sign a free agent or two in July.
If that happens, Nash claims he will retire.
Nash told Kevin Ding: “That would be it. I’ll either be back here or I’ll be done.”
Nash will make $9.7 million next year regardless of what he decides to do.
The bottom line is that Nash just turned 40 and is in his 18th NBA season. His numbers have declined steadily since 2010 and the Lakers can’t count on him to have a complete career renaissance next season. That much is obvious.
But seeing as how he’s already under contract, the Lakers could at least use Nash as a mentor for the rest of what is currently a very young roster. Having Nash and Kobe Bryant around to set an example for the younger guys on the team could pay off in the long run.
Nash clearly thinks he can get healthy and make a run at one more season. Right now it looks like the Lakers are going to let him give it a shot. But if the team reverses course, we may have seen the last of Nash in the NBA.