A report surfaced yesterday suggesting that rival executives expected the Lakers to start inquiring on point guard help, but Mitch Kupchak believes the team will be able to get by without Steve Nash in the short term. The Lakers GM told Mark Medina of Inside SoCal.com that he doesn’t anticipate making any moves to shore up the club’s backcourt.
“Not right now,” Kupchak said. “We have three capable point guards. I’d like to have three again. But with Steve being out these two weeks, I think we’re fine at that position.”
The Lakers’ stance indicates that the team believes Nash won’t be sidelined for a significant amount of time. The initial timetable for the 39-year-old has him missing two weeks, with a re-evaluation coming later this month. There’s been some speculation that Nash’s recurring back issues may force him to consider early retirement, which could save the Lakers some money if doctors rule the veteran unable to play. However, neither Nash nor the Lakers are thinking about that possibility, according to coach Mike D’Antoni.
“There’s always going to be a debate, but we’re not going to debate it, talk about it,” D’Antoni said (via Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times). “He’s going to try to get ready, he’s going to try to play and we’re going to try to win. It’s really simple for us. It’s not real difficult.”
If Nash were to be ruled out for a longer period of time, I’d expect the Lakers to reconsider their options. But for now, like the Knicks with Tyson Chandler, the Lakers seem content to stand pat. For both big-market teams, adding a replacement via free agency would come at an increased price due to tax penalties, while acquiring a player via trade may cost assets they don’t have.