Two-time league MVP continues to struggle with injuries.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has revealed his belief that there might not be much to gain from seeing Steve Nash back on the court this season.
The 40-year-old has missed the last seven games after returning from nerve root irritation, and while he managed a four-game stint he suffered a setback after a collision with Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich which ultimately brought back the issue.
Nash has averaged 7.6 points and 4.7 assists in 10 games this season while shooting just 36 percent from the floor and 31.6 percent from beyond the arc, with all figures well below his career averages of 14.3 points, 8.5 assists, 49 percent shooting and 42.8 percent from deep.
Nevertheless, while he has left the door open to return this year with 22 games remaining in the regular season, D’Antoni isn’t sure what there is to achieve by playing again until next season, should Nash return.
“I doubt it,” D’Antoni said, according to ESPN.
“I don’t think so. What’s the end game? We’ve talked about it. He’s not completely healthy. We have 23 games left. We’re not going to make the playoffs. So what’s his objective into taking minutes away from the young guys that we’re trying to develop? That’s kind of the theme that we’re talking about.”
Nash insisted that he will see how he progresses from now until the end of the year, but with one year remaining on his contract with the Lakers, the 18-year veteran may well be better served in trying to full recover before one final push next season.
However, there is a suggestion that the Lakers could release him, and Nash has previously revealed that he would not search for a new team if that was the case, and he would call time on what has been an incredible career for the point guard.
Meanwhile, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has been keen to leave the decision in Nash’s hands, which suggests that he could remain in Los Angeles for another year, although it remains to be seen what the franchise does this summer in terms of free agency, as they could wait and target high-profile stars in 2015.