The Lakers will not use their stretch provision on veteran point guard Steve Nash that would've allowed the team to spread the $9.7 million owed to him next season over the next three years of their salary cap, according to a report over the weekend from Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers were planning on waiving Nash -- who missed all but 15 games last season -- had the team been able to re-sign center Pau Gasol and lure Carmelo Anthony out of New York. Instead, Gasol signed with the Bulls and Anthony remained with the Knicks.
Nash, 40, is currently the oldest player in the league and had dealt with lingering nerve root irritations and chronic back problems that fueled rumors he was considering retirement as early as the middle of last season. The decision by the front office to not use the stretch provision and pay him the $9.7 million upfront will essentially free up more cap space for the team to go out and recruit with slightly greater flexibility in the summers of 2015 and '16.
Nash will instead likely play in a backup role to Jeremy Lin, who was traded by the Rockets to the Lakers in July.
- Marc Weinreich