Discussion: Does Steve Nash Suddenly Make The Lakers Title Contenders?

Depending on whom you ask, the Los Angeles Lakers either just pulled off a fantastic or terrible trade that makes them instant contenders again or just makes them older. Yesterday, the Lakers defiled our nation’s birthday by making the day’s biggest sports news all about a Canadian athlete. The Phoenix Suns have agreed to ship Steve Nash to L.A. for a goodie bag of draft picks and cash.

Specifically, the Suns inked Nash to a 3-year, $27 million extension and will swing him to the Lakeshow for $3 million and four draft picks. The Lakers were able to make the deal happen thanks to that exemption they received from Dallas in the “Lamar Odom’s worthless presence” trade last season.

So what sold Nash, who had interest from a bunch of teams, on this particular deal?

“This is what I call a family values contract,” Nash’s agent Bill Duffy told 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.” (Via USA Today)

Added Duffy, “I was all like, ‘Retirement shmetirement, bro. Daddy needs a new beach house in San Diego. Think about others for once, you selfish dick.’ And boom, Lakers.”

Of course once the news broke, so did the dam that keeps all of the Internet’s hyperbole from drowning us. Nash is 38-years old, and he’ll turn 39 in the middle of the 2012-13 season, so can he still be the point guard that Kobe Bryant and the Lakers have desperately craved since Derek Fisher’s age caught up to him?

Let’s speculate and debate and then hug.

Scenario A: The Lakers add Nash to their core from last season’s team and make no additional significant changes. Can Nash maintain his 2011-12 numbers and still post 10.7 assists at 38? Even if he does, is he all that the Lakers need to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat?