The Toronto Raptors are quietly getting unexpected moral support from the Los Angeles Lakers in their quest to sign Steve Nash.
Reason being: Sources say the Lakers -- as long as they retain Pau Gasol -- have an inside track to sign point guard Jose Calderon if the Raptors, as expected, must amnesty Calderon's contract to create the needed salary-cap space to sign Nash.
And as long as Calderon, in that scenario, manages to go unclaimed by teams under the salary cap that, as per league rules, are given first crack at signing players released through the amnesty clause.
ESPN.com reported early Saturday that the Raptors are planning a three-year offer to Nash worth $36 million.
It is widely assumed in NBA front-office circles that the Raptors will amnesty Calderon and the $10.6 million he's owed next season to maximize their cap flexibility.
That alone won't get the Spaniard to the point guard-hungry Lakers. Calderon would have to clear waivers through the amnesty process before he'd be free to choose his next team.
If Calderon does make it that far, though, sources say he's excited about the prospect of playing with Gasol in L.A.
Sources say Calderon would also have interest in teaming with Luis Scola wherever the Argentinean lands after ESPN.com reported Saturday that the Houston Rockets are actively trying to trade Scola. Miami and San Antonio are two more teams known to intrigue Calderon if he gets the chance to pick his next destination.