In a shocking twist, the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns have agreed to a sign and trade deal with veteran point guard Steve Nash.
Before the agreement was in place, the NBA community expected the New York Knicks to acquire Nash, but it was Kobe Bryant that persuaded Nash to head to Los Angeles. Nash also said that he wanted to be close to Phoenix, where his three children live.
Nash and the Lakers have agreed to a three year deal worth $25 million and the Suns will receive four draft picks, first rounders in 2013 and 2015 and second rounders in 2013 and 2014.
The deal cannot be official until July 11, when an NBA moratorium on new business is lifted.
Steve Nash issued a statement regarding his move from Phoenix to Los Angeles:
For the last 8 seasons I've been blessed to play for a team and a city that has embraced me and that I have come to call home. This is a tough business and the only thing constant in life is change.
After talking with (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. 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.
I couldn't be more grateful to the organization and Robert in particular. I know how hard this was for him and that fact that he was able to help me and my family in this way ... it means a lot and says a lot about his character. I will never forget this gesture. Above and beyond.
The Phoenix Suns are an amazing organization and fans should be excited about their future. I hope the Suns win a championship some day soon for all the amazing fans and wonderful people in the organization.
It was very difficult to trade Nash to a division rival, but Suns owner Robert Sarver finally agreed to the trade when Steve Nash pleaded that the Suns trade him to a city where he is still close to his children and have the best possible chance at getting that much longed after NBA title.