okay, let's pretend for a moment that this rumor is true how exactly did they plan to get anything for a guy with nerve damage who still can't [and apparently doesn't want to] play? Report: The Lakers asked Steve Nash not to retire so they could try to trade him By Dan Devine | Yahoo! Sports Ball Don't Lie — 2 hours ago Steve Nash's tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers began with visions of championship contention alongside fellow future Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, but has been rendered an utter disaster by injuries. What started with a fractured fibula three games into his first season in Hollywood turned into nerve root irritation that just kept causing problems, limiting him to just 52 appearances in Year 1, only 15 before being forced to abandon his carefully documented comeback in Year 2, and a goose-egg this year, as any preseason optimism surrounding what he expected to be his final season was dashed just five days before the Lakers' opening game of the 2014-15 campaign. The nerve damage just wouldn't reverse, and the pain just wouldn't go away, and the body just wouldn't cooperate with the commands of the razor-sharp mind and willing spirit, and so, that was that. All that was left was for Nash to officially retire, shuffle off this NBA coil and wait for his enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in a few years' time. But Nash didn't hang 'em up — at least, not officially. He stayed on the Lakers' roster and on their balance sheet, even as he stayed away from the team; this infuriated some Lakers fans who couldn't believe that Nash wasn't healthy enough to earn his money by playing basketball but that he was healthy enough to go golfing or rock-climbing, and was brazen enough to post photos of those activities on Instagram. (Nash has largely kept things quiet on social media since, though a recent return to live-tweet a soccer match led to some similar fan angst and an amusing Nash reply.) While you might not have been quite as furious or ill-mannered as the folks who spammed Nash's social media accounts with rage at his supposed stealing of the Lakers' money, you might have wondered what, exactly, was going on. If this was the end of the line, and Nash wasn't planning another comeback attempt, and the Lakers weren't planning on trying to get him back, then why didn't the two parties workout a buyout agreement? Why no official retirement, with the customary press conference and fanfare befitting a two-time MVP and one of the greatest point guards of his generation? The answer, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report? Nash was doing the Lakers — going nowhere and trying to figure out how to get somewhere in the near future — something of a solid: The only reason Nash isn't retired from basketball already, having put it all behind him, is so he could try to help the Lakers. Nash was ready to call it a career before the season. After deep soul-searching to accept his body does not belong in an official NBA uniform any longer, he wasn't just out for the season. He was, and is, done. The Lakers asked Nash not to announce anything, according to team sources. They hoped they could trade Nash's $9.7 million salary, not only an expiring contract but also a giant coupon for another club to take and immediately save real dollars via insurance, to get a building block for the Lakers' future. Fully aware how little he has given the Lakers since arriving in 2012, Nash agreed to do them a solid. He would put off his official retirement announcement and remain a member of the Lakers this season in name only. [...] What was missing, alas, was a public celebration of all that mature thinking because the Lakers weren't able to make a trade using Nash's contract by the Feb. 19 deadline. So there was no payoff, which makes it emblematic of Nash's Lakers tenure: logical, earnest steps taken with the best of hopes and intentions...and simply no results. I don't doubt that the Lakers kept Nash on the books in the interest of trying to package him in a deal, only to find that there weren't any takers for such a large expiring contract — not nearly as valuable an asset as it would've been in years past — who would be willing to part with the sort of quality young players or attractive future picks that the rebuilding Lakers would want in return. But this does seem like an awfully friendly reading of Nash's intentions ... especially since he himself said, in pretty clear terms, that he didn't plan to retire earlier because he wanted to receive the money he was owed. There's nothing wrong with that, of course; the NBA is a business, after all. He and the Lakers entered into an agreement prior to his injury that guaranteed his contract come what may, and most of us would be hard-pressed to act any differently given the circumstances. But Nash has also been quite clear in the past that he had zero interest in playing anywhere other than Los Angeles, given the proximity it affords him to his young daughters and to his myriad business and entertainment interests outside of basketball. Unless the super-enticing deal Mitch Kupchak had found for Nash's services wound up being with fellow Staples Center tenants the Los Angeles Clippers, it's tough to see Nash being psyched about facilitating a Laker swap; it's similarly difficult to envision the 41-year-old veteran leaving it up to anyone else how he'd finish things off if he had the opportunity to determine that himself, especially given the sheer lack of control he'd been able to exert on the physical disintegration that had led him to this point. It feels like the reality here falls somewhere in the middle — that Nash certainly doesn't deserve anywhere near the amount of scorn that he's received from some Lakers fans frustrated that they never got to see the version of Steve Nash they'd hoped for back in the summer of 2012, and that Nash probably wasn't just doing the Lakers a favor in declining to retire and take himself off the payroll. Whatever the truth, though, it's nice to hear that Nash has been doing his bit to help work with sharp-looking second-round rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson — although, apparently, not with veteran L.A. point man Jeremy Lin — and that he might be interested in doing the same with injured lottery pick Julius Randle, who's just been cleared to resume basketball activities after suffering a broken leg of his own during the first game of his professional career. Any contributions that Nash can make, material or otherwise, to this Lakers team seem to represent something of a bonus at this stage of the game, even if he's being exceedingly well compensated to make them.