The Los Angeles Lakers plan to keep Steve Nash for the final season of his contract, it has been claimed.
The Los Angeles Times report that they have learned the Lakers plan to keep the veteran Canadian point guard through the last year of his deal, swallowing the remaining $9.7 million they owe him whole as opposed to releasing him and spreading it out in smaller chunks.
The same source further suggests that doing it that way will give the franchise more to spend on the recruitment of free agents in the summer of 2015 and 2016, with the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant possibly set to become available during that time.
40-year-old Nash - the oldest player currently active in the NBA - has been plagued by injury since joining the Lakers in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns in 2012.
Although he obviously opted to move to Staples Center in order to embark upon one final chase for championship glory, sadly the two-time MVP has spent the majority of the time watching on in street clothes from the bench.
This season, nerve irritation in the back has prevented Nash from appearing in all but 12 games as Mike D'Antoni's Lakers have taken a nosedive to the murky depths of the Western Conference.
The LA Times further suggest that the Lakers also plan to keep fellow guard Kendal Marshall beyond the summer, with the former Suns lottery pick having impressed - particularly with his assists numbers - since filling in for Nash in January.
However, the fate of D'Antoni - who is certainly not a popular figure with Lakers fans - remains very uncertain and is likely to be resolved at the end of the season.
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