Healthy Steve Nash Would Change Grim Outlook of Los Angeles Lakers’ Season

In February, Grantland's Bill Simmons summarized the average Los Angeles Lakers fan's sentiments regarding Steve Nash.

"He just turned 40," Simmons wrote. "His body keeps breaking down. The Lakers need his cap money—desperately—whether it happens through trade, medical retirement, buyout, stretch provision, whatever. He's in the way."

Be that as it may, the organization ultimately elected to keep the iconic point guard around and pay him the hefty $9,701,000 he's owed in the final year of his contract.  

Now the question is whether 20/20 hindsight will view that expenditure as a sunken cost or savvy investment.

After playing in just 15 games last season (and 50 in 2012-13), Nash is looking to earn his money. His legacy remains intact thanks to those transcendent years in Phoenix, but the encore performance hasn't gone as planned.

The season ahead may be the last opportunity to change that.

Though it's still early to make any bold predictions, early returns paint a favorable picture of Nash's health and vitality.

And after what these Lakers—Nash included—have been through, we'll take whatever good signs we can get. 

The latest good sign is pretty consistent with what Lakers trainer Gary Vitti intimated to's Mike Trudell in August.

"All my conversations with [Nash] are that he has absolutely no neural issue at this point," Vitti said. "He's playing full-tilt, unrestricted soccer. He's doing all the corrective injury and performance exercises he's supposed to be doing, and right now he's 100 percent healthy."

"Right now things look better on July 31, 2014, than they did July 31, 2013. He was still having nerve issues last July," Vitti added.

Nash's 2013-14 campaign never really got off the runway thanks in large part to a fractured fibula he suffered in November of 20...

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