When the Los Angeles Lakers traded for point guard extraordinaire Steve Nash, most thought that he would turn them into an unstoppable juggernaut. After all, teaming Nash with fellow basketball savants Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol seemed to be a home run, as was the later move to bring Dwight Howard on board.
Unfortunately, that’s not how things turned out. The Nash trade proved to be a disaster for the Lakers and one that was partially responsible for their struggles during the final days of Bryant’s career.
Still, it could have been worse. A lot worse. On this episode of the LN News Feed, host Trevor Lane takes a look at how a lot of luck in the NBA Draft Lottery mitigated the damage done by trading for Nash.
Now that the final piece to the trade has been conveyed with the Philadelphia 76ers acquiring the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft from the Lakers, we can take a more accurate look back at exactly what the move wound up costing Los Angeles.
The move will never be looked upon fondly by Lakers fans, but the team was extremely fortunate to hang onto their protected draft picks for as long as they did. It was a contingency that few saw coming, as most assumed that the Lakers would continue to be contenders for the foreseeable future, thus making the picks that they gave up in the deal of minimal value.
However, a catastrophic injury to Bryant changed the equation and suddenly the protections placed on the first-round pick owed in the deal became extremely relevant.
Things didn’t work out the way the Lakers hoped they would with Nash, but thanks to some fortunate bounces by the NBA lottery ping pong balls the team is in a good spot moving forward.
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