Steve Nash has seen the court just 10 times this season, and with the 40-year-old's health in serious question, so too is his future with the Los Angeles Lakers. In the second episode of a web series from Grantland.com, Nash remarked that if the Lakers choose to release him under the NBA's Stretch provision this summer, that his choice would be to retire:
"If the Lakers release me this summer this is it. You know, I finally got my kids here in L.A., I'm not going to move them again, and I'm not going to be without them for another year. So, it's either back with the Lakers next year or I'm done."
The stretch provision is a segment of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that allows teams to waive a player and then "stretch" his cap hit over the course of several years, depending on when he is released.
For Los Angeles, releasing the veteran point guard would mean being able to chop down Nash's final contract season of $9.7 million to just $3.23 million if the team releases him on July 1 or after. The Lakers would hold Nash's new cap hit for three years, until the end of the 2016-2017 season. Nash would also be paid his final salary over three years instead of in one large sum.
The injury-plagued point guard has been working hard to get back to the court this year after fracturing his leg in a collision with Portland guard Damian Lillard on Oct. 31, 2012. In the video, Nash said learning that the stretch provision was a possibility has reinvigorated him to push himself in his recovery, "Maybe I need to push the envelope there a little bit -- to push the boundary. Maybe I need to put more hours in."
After a brief return in January, Nash has not seen the court since Feb. 17 after being sidelined with continuous nerve issues in his foot.