Steve Nash trade leads to point guard roulette in NBA

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The Los Angeles Lakers made a huge splash by acquiring Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns for four future NBA Draft picks.  That deal has led to chain reaction of point guard movement in the NBA as Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry, Jason Kidd, and possibly Jeremy Lin have all found new homes.

Phoenix Suns trade PG-Steve Nash to Los Angeles Lakers for 2013, 2015 first round picks and 2013, 2014 second round picks
After Ramon Sessions opted out of the final year of his contract, it was clear that the Lakers were sorely needing an up-grade at the point guard position.  Besides Deron Williams, Steve Nash was the hottest name out there and he ultimately chose to stay out West rather than sign with the Knicks, Raptors, or Mavs who were all reportedly expressing interest in the crafty distributor.

The 38-year old Nash agreed to a 3-year, $27 million sign-and-trade deal that benefits both sides.  Kobe Bryant finally gets a playmaking point guard who is a proven distributor but can also score when needed.  The Laker bigs, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol should be thrilled to have a passer like Nash join the fray.  It will be interesting how to see how Kobe handles playing off the ball a lot more but he will certainly still get his touches.

As for the Suns, they add four future picks to assist in their post-Nash makeover.  Even though both first rounders will likely be in the mid-late twenties, it provides Phoenix with some valuable assets and is better than losing Nash via free agency and getting nothing in return.

Phoenix Suns sign PG Goran Dragic to 4-year, $34 million deal and SF Michael Beasley to 3-year, $18 million deal
With Nash leaving the desert, Phoenix ponied up a lot of cash to re-acquire the one-time Sun, Dragic.  Call it “interesting” or “poor general managerial skills,” but this is the same Dragic who the Suns dealt to Houston along with a first round pick for Aaron Brooks.  Now, they are paying $8.5 million per year to bring Dragic back while Brooks temporarily remains on the roster as a restricted free agent.  Whoops.  Dragic had a breakout season last year and will take over for Nash at the point while first round pick Kendall Marshall likely serves as the back-up.

Adding Beasley provides Phoenix with a needed wing scorer to bring off the bench.  If Eric Gordon ends up a Sun, the team will have tremendously increased their ability to score the basketball when you add Jared Dudley into the equation as well.

Toronto Raptors acquire PG Kyle Lowry from Houston Rockets for F Gary Forbes and 2013 protected first round pick
Lowry was reportedly an unhappy camper in Houston and didn’t see eye-to-eye with head coach Kevin McHale.  Therefore, GM Daryl Morey dealt Lowry even though the team had just lost Dragic to free agency.  The first round pick gives them another asset for the future; something Morey loves to collect.  However, the trade leaves the Rockets incredibly thin at the point guard position…

Houston Rockets sign PG Jeremy Lin to 4-year offer sheet worth $28.8 million
… that is until they signed Linsanity to a four-year offer sheet in an attempt to pluck him away from the Knicks.  The deal is reportedly worth $10.2 million over first two years then spikes to $9.3 million in each of final two seasons which is rather amazing considering the former Harvard standout was a nobody just seven months ago.  New York does have three days to match this offer and has repeatedly said that they would do just that with any deal Lin signed since he is a restricted free agent.  If Houston loses out on Lin, they go back to step one in their search for a point guard.

New York Knicks agree to sign PG Jason Kidd (terms undisclosed)
J-Kidd decided to spurn an offer to stay a Maverick and will instead join the Knicks.  Despite the tank creeping closer and closer to empty, Kidd will bring a veteran presence to New York, which the team failed to get from Baron Davis and Mike Bibby last season.  The ideal situation is Kidd mentoring Lin for a season or two while also helping jell the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.  He is not the same J-Kidd of a few years ago, but if he can play his role he will certainly be an asset in the Big Apple.

Los Angeles Clippers re-sign G Chauncey Billups to 1-year, $4.3 million deal and sign SG Jamal Crawford to 4-year, $21-25 million
With Nick Young, Randy Foye, and Billups free agents, the Clippers were searching for depth and talent on the wing.  Re-signing Billups, who only played twenty games in L.A. last season before suffering a season-ending injury, is a smart move since Mr. Big Shot is a proven winner and capable of playing off the ball or running the point which L.A. doesn’t really need him to do since Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe are more than capable of shouldering that load.

Crawford’s signs for the full mid-level exception (The Los Angeles Times is reporting the contract is a three-year deal worth $15.7 million but ESPN has it as a four-year deal.)  Crawford has been one of the top scoring sixth men in the league the past several seasons and will likely be asked to play that role again assuming Billups starts at the two.  L.A. didn’t really have a big-time bench scorer before signing Crawford so he will anchor the second unit.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet.

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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