If Lakers guard Steve Nash hangs it up this year, Thunder point guard Derek Fisher would become the oldest active player in the NBA. (Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Two-time MVP Steve Nash is considering a medical retirement this season as he continues to battle chronic back issues that have limited him to 22 minutes per game over six appearances this year, his lowest average since 1997.
According to a tweet Tuesday from veteran NBA beat writer Peter Vecsey, it is believed that Nash is possibly left with no option but to call it a career because of the lingering pain.
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If he can term his retirement for medical reasons, the 39-year-old would receive the balance of his $9.3 million annual salary this season. For the 2014-15 season, the $9.7 million that would be owed to Nash would not count against the Lakers' cap. If the Lakers don't part ways with Nash, either by trade or via his medical retirement, Los Angeles could use its stretch provision that would allow the club to waive him and stretch his cap number over the following three seasons.
The eight-time All-Star, currently the oldest active player in the league, is averaging 6.7 points and 4.8 assists over his six games this season. If his back pain spells the end of his 17-year NBA career, Nash would pass the honor of being the league's oldest active player to another point guard; Derek Fisher of the Oklahoma City Thunder is six months younger than Nash.