The Lakers have plenty of time before they’ll be under pressure to make a decision about retaining Steve Nash and Kendall Marshall for next season, but for now the team plans on keeping both point guards, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. There’s been lots of speculation, some of it coming from Nash himself, that the Lakers would waive the 40-year-old this summer and use the stretch provision, but the Lakers instead envision taking the full $9.701MM cap hit next season for his 2014/15 salary. Marshall’s minimum salary contract is non-guaranteed for next season.
The deadline for the Lakers to use the stretch provision on Nash is August 31st, so if they wind up with a chance to sign a desirable free agent and need extra cap space to accommodate such a deal, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them reverse course with Nash. Still, it appears that for now, Nash is on track to continue his career with the Lakers. He’s admitted he’s sticking around in part because he doesn’t want to forfeit his salary, though he would still earn the money even if he walked away. Nash’s salary is guaranteed and he’s already played in his 10th game this season, washing away the chance of a medical retirement.
It’s no surprise that the team wants to keep Marshall, who’s blossomed since the team signed him in December. The 13th overall pick in the 2012 draft spent most of the first two months of this season out of the NBA, but he’s since averaged 8.9 assists and just 2.8 turnovers in 29.4 minutes per game for the Lakers.
Nash and Marshall are two of just five Lakers on the roster with contracts that run through next season. Coach Mike D’Antoni is also under contract for 2014/15, but there’s less certainty surrounding the team’s plans with him. The Lakers nonetheless won’t let his fate linger, as they’ll decide soon after the end of the regular season whether to retain him, Bresnahan writes.