Source: Nash-less Lakers weighing PG options
Steve Nash believes he will be out a while longer, and the Lakers have begun weighing options to bolster their point guard corps. A source said they'll likely consider free agents such as Delonte West and Eddie House, as well as a trade.
A source told ESPNLosAngeles.com that the Lakers' options at this point are somewhat limited, but they'll likely consider free agents such as Delonte West, who was cut by the Dallas Mavericks in October, and Eddie House, as well as a trade.
The Lakers remain committed to their core group of players, the source said, but feel they must address the situation at point guard with Nash's situation difficult to get a handle on.
"I think it will be at least another two weeks," Nash told USA TODAY Sports late Monday night. "I can move. I can shoot. I just can't run full speed. And I'm not even in shape. I'll probably need at least a week of practice once I start running."
Nash fractured his left fibula in a collision with Portland Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard on Oct. 31. During the rehabilitation process, however, Nash began suffering from nerve irritation, which is far more troublesome and difficult to treat, in the area.
The Lakers (9-13) reached another low point Tuesday with a 100-94 loss in Cleveland and have only a win over the New Orleans Hornets in the past six games.
Duhon has averaged 8.8 points and 7.8 assists as the Lakers' starting point guard the past four games. Before that, second-year man Morris averaged just 5.5 points and 2.6 assists as the starter. Blake was supposed to be the long-term solution and averaged 5.8 points and 3.0 assists in five games at the helm, but suffered an abdominal injury that has forced him to undergo surgery.
Since Dec. 4 (a span of five games), Duhon and Morris have combined for 43 points (37 by Duhon). Duhon has been held to six or fewer points in three of those games. Morris has been held scoreless in four of five games, with the Lakers losing all four.
"I hope I can make a difference," Nash told USA TODAY Sports. "I think the team is close to doing well on their own. It's hard. It's like a second training camp. The guys haven't had a lot of time to practice under (coach Mike D'Antoni).
"We really haven't had a chance to play together in a new system, and we're trying to fight through that."
The Lakers hired D'Antoni after firing Mike Brown following a 1-4 start.
"I think anything is possible with this team. If we stick together and work hard, I think the sky's the limit. But we've got a tall task ahead of us," Nash told the paper.
As D'Antoni met with reporters Tuesday in Cleveland, Nash shot jumpers and worked on his ballhandling at the far end of Quicken Loans Arena with a member of the Lakers' training staff.
Nash has not yet been cleared to practice, and D'Antoni doesn't know when the two-time league MVP will be available.
"When he's ready to go, he's ready to go," D'Antoni said, "and I don't think he knows totally. Hopefully, it's sooner than later. I'm like a kid at Christmas, man. I'm trying to get to the presents."
D'Antoni said Nash will have to play some two-on-two or three-on-three before he can play in games.
Nash's return might settle things down a bit, but the Lakers, who entered the season expected to waltz toward a title after adding center Dwight Howard and Nash to a lineup featuring Kobe Bryant, have plenty of problems.
Bryant said Nash's presence on the floor when he returns will help fix some of the Lakers' woes.
"It will help," Bryant said, "because our team is built to have him on the floor with myself and Pau (Gasol) and Dwight, and we haven't had that yet."
Gasol was not at the Lakers' morning shootaround and likely will miss his fifth straight game with tendinitis in his knees. D'Antoni doesn't know when one of his starters will be back in the lineup. He said Gasol will be evaluated on a daily basis.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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