We all know Steve Nash agreed to join the Lakers via a sign-and-trade deal last summer to give himself a shot at capturing his first NBA title. What may come as somewhat of a surprise is how badly he supposedly wanted to play with Pau Gasol. While I’m sure the prospect of playing alongside future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant was exciting, Nash was reportedly given a guarantee Gasol would not be traded.
“Ignore any and all trade talk about Pau Gasol because the Lakers landed Steve Nash by promising him he would get to play with Gasol,” a source reportedly told Comcast’s Ric Bucher. “Nash made it a prerequisite for passing on offers from Toronto and the Knicks that Pau would be around.
“Conceivably, once Nash gets back and actually plays with Gasol, the Lakers could continue to struggle and Nash re-thinks his position. But as of right now, one of the enticements that brought Nash to LA was the big Spaniard and the organization would have much bigger problems than they already have if they backtracked on their promise to keep Gasol in the fold.”
This type of handshake agreement is not unheard of. When Chris Paul agreed to go to the Los Angeles Clippers, he was reportedly given a guarantee that the team would retain restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan, and they held up their end of the deal.
While it would certainly be in the best interest of the Lakers to keep their 38-year-old point guard happy if they want to stop pooping their big boy pants, I doubt they would turn down an enticing offer for Gasol simply to keep their word — especially if the team continues to struggle. Doing what is best in the long-term interest of the team is always the priority.