What’s Lakers’ Plan B If Steve Nash Can’t Shake Injury Problems Again?

Forty-year-old Steve Nash is heading into what will presumably be his 19th season in the NBA. He is still trying to get back to good health after dealing with persistent nerve root irritation and hamstring problems stemming from a broken leg, compounded by years of degenerative spinal disc issues.

The Los Angeles Lakers would dearly love to have Nash back and playing at a functional level. But what’s Plan B if that doesn’t come to pass?

Twice the league’s Most Valuable Player and an eight-time All-Star to boot, Nash appeared in just 15 games this past season, averaging 6.8 points and 5.7 assists.

During a recent conference call to promote his annual charity soccer showdown in New York City, Nash spoke optimistically about his recovery, per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News: 

I feel great right now. I’ve been able to pretty much go without limitations. I’m obviously not trying to overdo it so I can allow that nerve to settle down perhaps and be less irritating. It has worked so far, but I would hate to say this is where it will be like once I join the rigors of an NBA schedule.

Therein lies the problem—the rigors of an 82-game schedule, plus playoffs if you make it that far, all while dealing with chronic back pain?

Nash is one of the few Lakers on the roster for next season. That doesn’t mean he’s the only point guard, however. Rookie Jordan Clarkson, selected by the Lakers at No. 46, will have a non-guaranteed contract. Kendall Marshall, who played 54 games for the Lakers this season after being plucked out of the D-League, also has an unguaranteed deal.

Both Clarkson and Marshall will be playing for the Lakers’ Summer League squad in Las Vegas. The team’s first game will be Friday against the Toronto Raptors.

Clarkson, a 6’5” slasher, has blow-by speed as well a...

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