In an unforeseen turn of events, the Lakers have made a major free-agency splash.
Just a few hours after the Knicks emerged as the front-runner in the Steve Nash sweepstakes, the Lakers pounced on the opportunity and traded for the 8-time All Star. The Suns will receive two first-round picks and two second-round picks (along with $3 million cash) in exchange for Nash. The deal makes sense for both sides considering Phoenix could have potentially lost Nash to free agency (and got nothing in return) while the Lakers become a significantly better team after the acquisition. Nash will be able to run an actual offense in Los Angeles (Mike Brown's "system" wasn't too effective last year if you didn't notice) as well as maneuver the pick and roll with at least one seven-foot big man (Gasol could still be moved but it looks like they will hold onto him for the time being).
For the Knicks fans: If the Knicks had been able to pull this deal off, it would have all but eliminated the possibility of retaining Jeremy Lin in the long-term. I wouldn't be surprised if Jason Kidd ends up signing with the Knicks (Kidd is obviously no Nash but he comes at a much cheaper price) to share point guard duties with (hopefully) J-Lin. Word on the street is the Rockets and Raptors could potentially offer Lin a back-loaded, "poison pill" contract, but since Nash is out of the picture, the Knicks should be able to retain Lin. His marketability alone is a good enough reason to put up the dollars, especially when you are in the largest media market in the country. Shumpert is coming off knee surgery and won't be ready for the start of the season so it's not like the Knicks don't need a PG. Even if a team does throw a ridiculously large offer in Lin's direction, I'm pretty confident the Knicks will match it no matter what.
P.S. If the Lakers happen to pull off a trade for Dwight Howard don't be surprised if David Stern unleashes the "veto" like he did Chris Paul.
In other news, the Suns have signed Michael Beasley to a 3-year contract worth $18 million (good luck with that).