Kobe Bryant will be the leader of the Los Angeles Lakers for as long as he wears the purple and gold. But he may not be the member of the club's starting backcourt next season with the most NBA MVP Awards at home on the mantle.
Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is joining the Lakers, according to a flurry of reports that began with Marc Stein of ESPN.
According to the Arizona Republic and other reports, the Lakers will send two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $3.1 million to the Suns.
Before news of this deal broke, fans of the New York Knicks were considering the sight of Nash and his old running mate Amar'e Stoudemire reunited at Madison Square Garden. Earlier reports had the Knicks perilously close to landing Nash in a different sign-and-trade deal with the Suns, sending Iman Shumpert and Toney Douglas to Phoenix.
Before Stein's tweet about the impending Lakers-Suns deal, Frank Isola, the Knicks beat writer for the New York Daily News tweeted about the possibility of Nash landing in Hollywood instead of the Big Apple.
Nash issued a statement on his move to the Lakers to ESPN, confirming that the deal was in place, saying "This is a tough business and the only thing constant in life is change."
UPDATE (11:30 p.m. ET): In an interview with the Associated Press, Nash's agent Bill Duffy said the deal was finalized on Wednesday around 6 p.m. PT. Duffy noted that one reason behind Nash choosing the Lakers was his desire to be nearby his children, who live in Phoenix.