Nash’s injury has NBA execs expecting to hear from Lakers
With the news of Steve Nash’s latest setback, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is likely to search for help at point guard, several league executives told FOX Sports Ohio.
“It’s not like Mitch to sit and do nothing,” said one. “I’d be really surprised if that’s his course.”
The Lakers revealed Monday that Nash will be sidelined at least two weeks with nerve root irritation in his back.
Nash, 39, is the NBA’s oldest player. He already sat out two of the Lakers’ first eight games, and appeared to labor through most of the others.
Nash is averaging 6.7 points and 4.8 assists — his lowest numbers in both categories in 14 years.
Since last season, the Lakers have lost Dwight Howard to free agency and Kobe Bryant to injury. Howard departed for the Houston Rockets and Bryant tore his Achilles tendon.
Bryant, 35, underwent surgery in April. No timetable has been set for his return.
League executives who spoke to FOX Sports Ohio wondered if the Lakers, attempting to stay in position for a playoff berth while waiting for Bryant’s return, have the assets to make a move should they explore a trade for a point guard.
Right now, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar are the only healthy point guards on the roster. Blake has been starting at shooting guard in Bryant’s absence.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni could shift Blake back to the point, continue to bring Farmar off the bench and start either Jodie Meeks or Xavier Henry at shooting guard.
The Lakers (3-5) play six games over the next two weeks. But as the Lakers said in their announcement, Nash could miss more time than that.
The Los Angeles Times reported Nash was struggling following a 113-90 home loss Sunday to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I hesitate to even talk about it now because it’s probably not a good time,” Nash said. “I’m feeling a little emotional, but it’s hard. I really want to play and I really want to play the way I’m accustomed to playing, and to be so limited is frustrating. And also to not know where a clean-ish bill of health is is a little daunting too.”
League execs said they had not heard from Kupchak as of late Monday, but all expected that to change shortly.
“We have a good idea which players (on the roster) he’ll ask about,” said one GM. “We’re already preparing counter offers.”