After acquiring Steve Nash, the Lakers intend to keep its core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum together next season, according to a source.
Bynum has been involved in trade rumors for Dwight Howard, while Gasol has been on the block since December.
The Magic have sought the inclusion of more pieces beyond Bynum in a trade for Howard, such as the ability to absorb at least one problematic contract.
The Knicks have a backup plan in the event that Steve Nash rejects their bid in free agency.
Raymond Felton is believed to be plan B for the Knicks, who have the $3.09-million mini-mid-level at their disposal.
Felton shot just 40.7 percent last season with the Blazers, amid rumors he was out of shape.
Chicago will make a run at Steve Nash and Jason Kidd in free agency, according to a source.
C.J. Watson filled in admirably in place of an injured Derrick Rose in the postseason, but the Bulls are expected to look to upgrade at point guard during Rose’s absence.
Rose is walking with a soft brace after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left ACL and is hoping to return by next season’s All-Star break.
The reportedly preference for Dwight Howard is to sign with the Nets in the offseason as a free agent, which would allow the franchise to retain the assets they do have.
Howard is enthused about teaming up with Deron Williams and he could likely receive a more lucrative adidas extension in Brooklyn.
The Magic have not given up on keeping Howard and are interested in a trade for either Steve Nash or Monta Ellis, but both possibilities are remote.
Steve Nash will be a free agent this summer, increasing the odds that the Suns could trade him before the deadline.
One executive whose team has had serious interest in Nash in the past told SI.com that the Suns are “as close as they’ve ever been” to realizing that they need to strongly consider a trade.
“I have no idea what the club will eventually do if a bunch of offers are thrown in their face,” Nash said, “but I feel like I’m not nervous about [the trade deadline] and I’m not thinking about — what’s the word? — I’m not anticipating anything to happen. I feel like I made a commitment and I feel like I owe it to my teammates — the city, the fans, the club — to play it out and to play as hard as I can.”
The Suns would accommodate Steve Nash with a trade, but the former MVP has yet to express an interest in a move.
“It’s really on him in terms of what he wants to do or not do,” a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Nash, 37, is averaging 14.5 points and 9.9 assists.
The Suns are 9-14 and 12th in the Western Conference.
Steve Nash’s brilliant career is winding down and he could lose a full season of his twilight if the NBA lockout wipes out the 2011-12 season.
While many believe Nash’s only chance to win a championship would come with a trade to a contender, the Victoria-raised point guard is still hopeful that the Suns can pull a rabbit from their hat.
“I think we definitely can get back, but obviously we need to improve our roster a little bit,” he said. “As it stands now, we’re probably a player or two short. But we’ve seen many teams win championships by acquiring a Pau Gasol [Los Angeles Lakers], or a Tyson Chandler [Dallas Mavericks] or a Rasheed Wallace [Detroit Pistons], whether it’s at the deadline or the summer. So, if we can somehow happen across a player of that calibre, it would be great.”
A new professional basketball league in Canada plans to open in November with seven teams and a 36-game schedule.
The National Basketball League of Canada announced Thursday that Moncton, New Brunswick, will become the seventh franchise for the 2011-12 season.
The city joins teams in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Quebec City; Saint John, New Brunswick; and London and Oshawa in Ontario. Another team will be in Prince Edward Island, although the city is not set.
In the wake of Phoenix Suns president and CEO Rick Welts’ revelation that he is gay, Suns point guard Steve Nash has made a video in support of New York’s marriage equality proposition.
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