HANG TIME CAPITAL BUREAU — While the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks have made strong pushes for free-agent guard Steve Nash, the Los Angeles Lakers have quietly entered the fray for the 38-year-old guard and are making a strong bid to acquire him, according to a league source.
The Lakers, with a payroll already projected in excess of $83 million next season, would only be able to offer Nash an exception starting at $3.09 million for next season. It’s unlikely Nash would take that, so a sign-and-trade deal would be a more realistic possibility.
The Lakers do have a viable starting point guard they could send Phoenix in such a deal, Ramon Sessions, who became an unrestricted free agent after surprisingly opting out of the last year of his contract. Forwards Jordan Hill and Matt Barnes are also free agents.
The Lakers have also been looking to rid themselves of forward Metta World Peace, who has two years and $15 million remaining on his deal. But the Suns aren’t believed to be interested in World Peace.
Nash is mulling offers from the Raptors, who reportedly have a three-year, $36 million deal on the table, and the Knicks, who only have the $3 million exception to offer as well.