The Lakers have waived Steve Nash and re-signed Jabari Brown, the team announced via press release. The team refers to its contract with Brown as a multiyear deal. Brown had been with the Lakers on two 10-day contracts thanks to the hardship provision, which allowed the Lakers to carry him even though they already had 15 players. The league hands out an extra roster spot for only 10 days at a time, and with the team unable to sign Brown to anymore 10-day deals, the Lakers are clearing Nash, who’s already announced his retirement, from the roster.
The team will still pay out Nash’s $9.701MM salary for this season, barring the thoroughly unlikely outcome that another team claims him off waivers. However, there’s little added cost with Brown’s deal, since it has to be merely a prorated minimum-salary arrangement. The lack of any other way aside from the minimum-salary exception to sign Brown means it’s a two-year deal for him, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times points out (Twitter link). Next season’s salary is non-guaranteed, according to fellow Times scribe Mike Bresnahan (on Twitter).
Nash hasn’t played the entire season because of nerve issues that resurfaced during the preseason, and 41-year-old has said that the only reason he delayed his announcement, which didn’t take place until last month, was so the Lakers could use his contract as a trade chip. The team didn’t end up trading him, even though the Lakers reportedly offered him to the Celtics as part of a Rajon Rondo package, and the two-time MVP drew scorn from Lakers fans as he was an infrequent presence around the team during the first half of the season. He also lost fans when he said he was sticking around this season in large measure just so he could collect his salary. Nash was a landmark acquisition for the Lakers in 2012, but his body failed to allow him to live up to his three-year deal worth more than $27.9MM.
Brown, a college teammate of fellow Laker Jordan Clarkson, was with the Lakers during the preseason and spent most of 2014/15 with L.A.’s D-League affiliate. The 22-year-old Brown performed well on his 10-day deals, averaging 9.4 points in 24.5 minutes per game across 10 appearances, and he made 11 out of 24 total three-point attempts.