Steve Nash has played in 12 games this year and has openly wondered if he'll ever be healthy enough to play consistently at the NBA level. No matter his health, his place on the Los Angeles Lakers comes down to the team's cap situation, and as of now, the front office plans to keep Nash on the roster for next year, according to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan.
Nash is owed $9.7 million in 2014-15, the final year of a three-year contract, but the Lakers could also waive him and use the stretch provision in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement to pay him incrementally over three years. That would allow more cap space immediately next season.
Instead, Bresnahan reports that Mitch Kupchak and the front office want to pay off Nash's contract by the summer of 2015. That would open the books for the 2015 and 2016 free agent classes, where the Lakers are expected to go after big names -- Kevin Love leads the list of free agents that Los Angeles would consider signing.
Nash joins Kobe Bryant and Robert Sacre as the only players with guaranteed deals for next year. Guard Nick Young has a player option, and Bresnahan also reports that point guard Kendall Marshall's non-guaranteed deal will be picked up by the team.