The Los Angeles Lakers may have hit the jackpot.
The recent addition of Steve Nash has finally given the Lakers a true point guard, and bolstered their chances of winning a title. The Lakers added Ramon Sessions during the regular season, but Sessions struggled in the playoffs, and appeared to lack the superior court vision that Nash so clearly possesses.
Not since Magic Johnson's playing days have the Lakers had a playmaker who creates for his teammates as well as Nash. The veteran guard is a crafty passer, a sharpshooter, and a tough competitor.
But what Nash brings to the table might be even more far-reaching. The Lakers often showed poor shot selection in the 2011-2012 season, and head coach Mike Brown received criticism for some of his diagramed plays.
That all goes away with the addition of Nash. Kobe Bryant will have a true distributor who can penetrate and find passing angles to create the best shot possible. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol stand a far better chance of getting easy shots in the key with Nash on the floor.
Nash is a very smart player who can overcome questionable play calling and the sometimes lackadaisical play from the Lakers. Bryant's teammates often stand around and watch when he has the ball, but that won't be the case with nash on the court. The Lakers have a player who they will have full confidence in with the ball, and that was something lacking with Sessions.
Nash, 38, is still an effective player after 16 seasons in the NBA. Nash shot 53.2 percent from the field in the 2011-2012 season, and consistently dishes out over 10 assists a game. He is also one of the greatest free-throw shooters in NBA history.
The Lakers have always encouraged playing an up tempo and entertaining style of basketball since Jerry Buss purchased the club in 1979. Nash will make going to games at Staples Center a lot more fun.
It's also possible that Nash helps lure in other players. Recent reports have linked Grant Hill and Antawn Jamison to the Lakers. Both players are probably closing in on retirement, but they would likely serve as reserves, which has been a concern in L.A. since the departure of Lamar Odom.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have interest in Nick Young, Brandon Rush, and Lou Amundson. All three could be serious contributors off the bench.
The Nash deal could also tempt Dwight Howard into showing more interest in playing in L.A. A swap of Howard for Bynum has been speculated for several months, but the Orlando Magic center has privately dismissed playing for the Lakers according to sources, and favors a move to the Brooklyn Nets instead. With Nash on the Lakers, Howard might be inclined to change his stance.
The acquisition of Nash isn't all great news. The Lakers biggest obstacle in the West is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who arguably have the most athletic player in the NBA in Russell Westbrook. Nash does nothing to help the Lakers defensively, but there is almost nobody who can stay in front of Westbrook.
Nash also comes at a rather expensive price. The Lakers surrendered four draft picks to Phoenix, and those picks could have been used as trade bait in another potential deal. Nash also received a three-year deal worth $27 million, and that means the Lakers will have less room to maneuver for future deals.
Rob Parker of ESPN's First Take called the addition of Nash a disaster. The Lakers have shopped Gasol because of their interest in getting younger, and now the team has a 38-year-old point guard.
The Lakers attempted to win a title in the 2003-2004 season by adding free agents Gary Payton and Karl Malone, and what resulted was a turbulent season in which the Lakers got little out of the duo, and the Lakers suffered from chemistry issues.
The Lakers are all about winning titles. This is an organization that knows its fan base, and Lakers fans don't want to see Bryant's final years plagued by coming up short to teams like Oklahoma City.
Nash is an obvious upgrade for the upcoming season, and the pieces that might be added could be the difference between the Lakers winning the title or losing to the Thunder again.
Either way, the Lakers are going for it.