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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 at 3:46 pm  |  53 responses

Steve Nash’s Future Uncertain

by Sam Riches/ @sam_riches

At 37 years young, Steve Nash is still one of the premier point guards in the League. By his own account, he believes he has at least three years of high-level basketball left.

Nash’s play-making ability, dead-eye shooting and locker room presence are coveted assets and with an aged Phoenix Sun’s squad inevitably heading towards the rebuilding stage, the crafty Canadian is constantly rumored to be on the move.

With the Draft set for tomorrow night, rumors are now surfacing that Nash could be sent to Minnesota for a package that includes the number two pick. Phoenix has adamantly denied these allegations.

Other rumored destinations have included the Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks and the Raptors.

For his part, the two-time MVP is saying that he wants to remain with the Suns but doesn’t deny the possibility of being traded.

From the Times Colonist:

“’Given I feel a loyalty to the team [Suns] and community of Phoenix. That’s all I’m thinking about at the moment. I don’t plan on leaving. I have plans of getting them [Suns] back into the playoffs and again contending for a championship. But Toronto would be amazing…and to be at home in Canada. To [hypothetically] be part of their [Raptors] future success would be great.’”

Nash is under contract for one more season at $11.7 million and unless he suddenly changes his mind about wanting to remain with Phoenix, the most likely scenario is that he will be a member of the Suns until he hits free agency.

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  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    Now will anyone question his will to win a championship if he leaves to go to Toronto? Everyone’s being hard on Vince Carter if goes for more money and not take the minimum to play for a chip, so what does that say about Nash?

  • dma

    Well he’s white so society pretty much already has given him a pass.

  • HAMMER

    Two words for Steve Nash: Kevin Garnett. @ this stage n his career, he needs 2 damn that loyalty. He needs 2 get his ring. He still one of top pg’s we got around. Its sad that he’s just rotting away n Phoenix. He is absolutely fun 2 watch. Phoenix hasn’t done anything for Nash lately 2 convince him 2 stay, other than $. I’d luv 2 c him on a contender and @ least have a chance @ title.

  • http://djfklf.com Jukai

    If he’s TRADED to Toronto, will people question his will to win a championship? Will people question your brain cell count after you pose that question, is a better one to ask.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    ^ Both players chose money over a better shot at a chip but Nash has earned his respect and a couple passes because Steve has played through visible injuries and while Vince has repeatedly shrunk when games got rough.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    *Oops my comment was directed towards the first two comments.

  • http://djfklf.com Jukai

    LA Huey: It’s not just money though, I’ll be the first to admit Nash choose money or chasing a ring… but there’s the entire loyalty aspect to it. Vince Carter wincecd his way out of New Jersey. Lebron went AFTER a ring and ignored the money but left his team and he got chastised.
    It has nothing to do with race or favoritism. Nash choose the money but he stayed with the team that made him, so people accepted it. He had a chance to run for Toronto with money but he didn’t do it.
    End of deal.

  • http://www.listerblister.blogspot.com rainman10

    The team that made him? He turned the Suns around, it was a perfect combination. Having drafted guys like Marion and Amare, then bringing in Nash was the perfect move and they almost got their rings, they were robbed in ’07. I know “almost” means nothing, and I’m not salty, but Nash is an all-time great. He left Dallas, a contender, and helped turn the Suns into contenders, the team that drafted him. He is loyal, which is also why he would love Toronto b/c he is loyal to Canada and would love to help put that team, city, and country on the basketball map. You can try to compare him to Vince or Lebron, or try to bring race into it but that would just be stupid to do. None of them have rings, all have made a lot of money b/c of basketball, on and off the court. You can question their motives, but you can never doubt Nash’s passion and commitment to the game, and his hunger for winning. He is a competitor and plays his hardest every night, and is still doing it at the age of 37. It may all pay off for him someday, just ask Jason Kidd.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Nash is not top 50, though!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    So Jukai you’re ignoring the fact that he left Dallas for more money when he could have stayed with Dirk and Finley and chased a ring?
    Cool.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And the only people who think Dallas was a true “contender” with Nash at the helm are people with really short memories.
    Yes, they went to the WCF, but the year before he left, they got bounced in the first round and he had one of his worse years statwise. Then Cuban said that the team loved him but there was no way in hell he was giving him $60 million with his back. So Nash got paid, then re-upped with the Suns to get paid again.
    He made a smart business move. Seems like a decent guy and a great player. He has flaws and strengths. But let’s silence this whole meme about how much he sacrificed.

  • T-Money

    i don’t think race plays a factor here, you’ll never get killed for staying with your team. (well maybe lebron staying would have resulted in a few “scared of the bright lights?” article but that’s just because having “lebron” in the title of any article drives traffic). now two things: 1- his hunger for winning is not that strong, it’s actually pretty average. he likes to win but winning doesn’t consume him. the media has not put any pressure on him to win rings to validate his career either. 2- i’ve also been openly questioning nash’s commitment to the OTHER end of the floor. and this goes beyond physical limitations, he flat out does not care.

  • T-Money

    yeah, that’s a good point allen. nash has basically followed the money for his 2 big contracts. the cba rules allowed phx to give him a bigger deal than anybody else the second time around. i don’t blame him one bit as i’m always for the players to get paid as much as they can (the hawks should be ridiculed, not joe johnson) but let’s slow down on the sacrifices made.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The second time around he was staying in a championship caliber situation. He chased the money once, and it was in response to Cuban saying he wouldn’t pay him anywhere near what Phoenix offered. There’s a difference between chasing money, and 10+ MILLION dollars more then your former boss is willing to pay. A pretty big difference IMO

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    What is the difference?
    Either he left a good situation in Dallas for a bad situation in Phoenix because more money was offered
    OR
    We need to reexamine how he won two MVPS since the situation in Phoenix wasn’t really as bad as everybody said despite their record.
    Can’t have it both ways. If he Suns were a crap team, he basically said he’d rather play for a crap team for more money then take a pay cut to play for a playoff squad with two very solid veterans.
    If the Suns were a potential diamond in the rough, then he didn’t “carry” them or make them good, he was just the final piece in an already stacked lineup.
    Either way, with that contract and his last massive extension, he chose money when he could have taken a pay cut and chased a ring. And, since the only thing he’s lacking on his impressive resume is a RING, what exactly does that say? Apparently, it says nothing about him, but everything about other players.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I just said he chased the money once. And for a pretty good reason, it was A LOT more money. I’m not defending him, infact I don’t have an issue with how any player chooses to live out their career. I was just making sure we realized he only chased the money the one time (from Dallas to Phoenix).

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Well, I can see how you can argue that re-upping with your own flawed team for far more money than you would command on the open market isn’t technically “chasing the money” but it definitely seems like he chose money over the best chance to win, right?
    And, there is nothing wrong with that. It’s a business. But let’s be just when discussing things. And accurate.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He chose to resign with a flawed team yes, but a team still largely in the hunt. Especially of all the teams that had actual money to spend. Unless your trying to imply that by not “chasing the money” Nash should have let his contract expire and sign for the mid-level with an actual contender? You can’t possibly think that though, arguing to take half the salary to chase rings (something players are just as criticized for…Karl Malone/Gary Payton). Where “should” Nash have gone if staying in Phoenix in 09 was a form of “chasing the money”?

  • MUBWAR

    for sure Nash is top 50. back to back NBA MVP, 5th all time assist leader. He averaged about 17 points 11 assists 3.5r on 55% from the field, 45 from deep and over 90 from the stripe in the past 5 season. definitely top 50

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    When Nash re-upped his contract (after his 60 mill signing initially as a Free agent from Dallas), Amare was on the books still and they had a very respectable chance to make a run – as evidenced by their play right into the WCFs. THAT alone made Amare look amazingly good and he benefited by chasing down the max contract afterwards…
    __________
    I wouldn’t say Nash is ‘ONLY’ in it for the money, but I think he certainly did capitalise on a teams need. Don’t forget he got that 60 mil contract BEFORE he had those awarded seasons – prior to that he was probably ranked as a 2nd tier PG in the league.
    __________
    Getting the 1st MVP award is similar to a new coach taking over a team, they go well and then the coach is awarded as the COACH OF THE YEAR… Byron Scott, Tom Thibadeau, Sam Mitchel and the like – it’s awarded purely for the change of the dynamic and the RELATIVE success that player provides. It’s why Jerry Sloan never got the award – always been there, doing the same things, why give it to him… the question is: If the BUlls have another great season, do they give the award to the coach again……?
    __________
    Steve Nashs future may be uncertain, but so is the entire NBAs…where is the news?

  • MikeC.

    When Nash last re-upped with Phoenix, they still had his pick and roll partner in the house. That team with Nash and STAT was a contendor. Maybe not on the same level as Boston and the Lakers, but they were in that 2nd rung of teams that, with the right breaks and some big shots, could have broken through and won it all (like Dallas this year). His last re-up with Phoenix was the best situation for him. None of the other contendors needed a PG. Boston had Rondo and a D-first system, LA ran that triangle which makes a P&R PG useless, the Spurs had Parker. He re-upped in the best situation for the best money. Now, if he re-ups in Phoenix again, I’ll question him.

  • MikeC.

    Dacre beat me to it.

  • andrew

    2 times MVP lest u forget.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @ MikeC – On the same page.

  • theballer

    nash my fellow canadian! make those 3 last years count… you’ve really been under the radar lately.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @ andrew – Hey not a day goes by where I don’t enjoy Nashs 2 MVP, thats my boy there – the thing is: Nash got that award purely because he had a BETTER season individually with Amare injured along the way and the suns success hardly faltered – Not the wrong reason to receive the award again mind you but I personally find fault with the process – Nash was the golden child of the NBA over those 2.5/3 seasons.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I want Nash to get a ring. Just one would valid his career and efforts in the NBA (ala Dirk/Kidd) – But perception is reality: LeBron James has forever tarnished his presence as a figure-head in the NBA with the way he has ‘aligned’ himself towards pursuit of the ring… I wouldn’t expect Steve Nash to operate in a similar fashion. He is aware of the perception that the general basketball fan base have of him and wouldn’t operate outside of that – he has a great hold over masking this also.
    ——
    I mean who else could get away with splitting up with someone RIGHT after they give birth to a child?

  • doyouwantmore

    If they diss Nash by throwing him to the Wolves he might retire.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/other-ballers/international/2010/03/flight-75-dc-to-moscow/ Mitya

    make it happen, Riley

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @ doyoutwantmore – whats more likely to happen is they win 50 games and he gets a third MVP nod.

  • MUBWAR

    PAT RILES where are you?

  • http://djfklf.com Jukai

    Allenp is right. Not even gonna argue, he’s got me hands down. He chased money instead of staying with the contender that was Dallas (and it was a big contender— the team always underperformed, and it was mostly bad superstar management. I remember the year with Jamison and Walker with Dirk/Nash/Finley. Nelson had absolutely no idea what to do with that cast) and he went to a subpar team. I totally blocked that cause I didn’t really care about Nash as much back then, and I’ll admit that mistake.

  • http://djfklf.com Jukai

    And you know my thoughts on Nash’s MVP, he deserved only one— and that was 2006.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Nash went to a worse team but played with Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, and Joe Johnson instead of Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley. That’s not exactly a bad transition. Not to mention the Suns became contenders once he got there, and did even better than Dallas for a few seasons.

  • K- Fizzle

    If willing for a minimum contract I’d go for the heat.. Sounds unreal but he would get a ring

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Nash went with money, we can’t kill him for that. As far as his playing career goes, he’s the Barkley of PGs. Couldn’t get a ring and left a lot to be desired on the defensive end but he was fun to watch.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ I can see that happening–the ring part. Not sure he’d be willing to take the minimum though. Even though league minimum for vets is still a sh!t load of money.

  • http://djfklf.com Jukai

    Not saying that that 2005 Suns squad wasn’t an awesome team, but a few things to comment… it was NOT as good as the Dallas squad that Nash was leaving… Joe Johnson, while now an every year all-star, was being utilized in the absolute worst of ways, as a spot up shooter and off-ball cutter, Marion was still Marion, and their center when Amare wasn’t playing awfully out of position was Steven friggin Hunter. Looking back, that team was STACKED with talent but was just handled really bad, which is fair because it was a recently put-together team… but it was certainly a downgrade from Dallas.

  • The Frictionator

    To you guys writing that Nash chased $, how about looking at his years since leaving Dallas and answer two questions. 1. Was Nash not totally disrespected in the offer made by Cuban? And 2. Has Nash not been worth that money?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Did that Dallas team have BOTH Shawn Bradley AND Raef LaFrentz? Some fans get ALL the players…

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Q: How much did Mark Cuban offer Steve Nash….? I don’t think he even wanted to pay him market value…

  • MikeC

    @Dacre – they also had 3 power forwards who appeared to not realize that they were allowed to cross the 3-pt line on offense.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    LA Huey, I see where you’re going with the Barkley/Nash comparison but Barkley was a better player. He at least led his team to the finals and performed admirably well considering the circumstance and team he was going up against. Nash is a very good player, fringe Top-50 but Barkley’s one of the greatest PF of all time and a Top-25 player.

  • Mr. Wet

    He’s going to the Nets, then he’ll back to Dallas and win a ring.

    Oh wait, wrong point gaurd.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    JTaylor – your saying that Nash DIDN’T lead the Suns and perform admirely well in the playoffs…???
    — woh

  • Ronald

    @Dacre: From what I remember it was around $35 mill. The contract was for a few years less than what Phx paid.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Dacre, never that. Nash has done a decent job in the playoffs but he’s never been to the finals all while surrounded by more talent than those Barkley-led Sun squads. I mean come on, the guy has played with two of the best PFs of the past decade and a slew of talented role players. So let’s not act like the guy’s situation is similar to Nique’s, dude has been surrounded by talent for the majority of his prime yet failed to make it to the Finals.

  • Kyle

    Don Nelson had been telling Cuban that Nash was all but done. With his back problems, and frenetic pace he played, he told Cuban that he had 2-3 years tops being a good point guard.

    So much for Don Nelson… this led Cuban to overpay for Daimpeer who was pathetic most of his time there. And Phoenix with D’antoni realized that he’d be able to lead a team full of younger, faster players to the playoffs. Dallas offered a 4 year/36 million dollar deal compared to Phoenix’s 6 year/63 million dollar deal. So it was a no brainer. If he doesn’t leave, he doesn’t become an elite point guard, and Dirk may never have become a leader who won it all this year.

    So in retrospect, Cuban probably doesn’t mind doing it. Just like how the Jason Kidd trade finally paid off for him.

  • Ronald

    @Kyle: Co-sign. I think Cuban also learned from his mistakes. The Harris/Kidd deal seemingly went against everything Cuban said during when Nash left to Phx.

  • afra33

    I do want Nash to be dealt to a good team but the elite teams have good PG’s already which makes it hard to deal him anywhere. The only places I could imagine him going to and have instant success and contend right away are the Lakers and the Magic. If he can’t be dealt to those two teams then making a trade to any other team is pointless because he’s going to find the same situation he’s already at with Phoenix. I’m not sure on the health condition of Billups with the Knicks but I could see perhaps if Billups isn’t healthy that Nash could come in and help NY turn that franchise around into a serious contender. Problem with NY is that even if Nash comes in they’re still one good big man away from becoming a real contender. The right thing to do would be for Phoenix to spend some $$$ and bring in some good players but they already had some good players and let them go because they didn’t want to pay. Nash is in a limbo situation that he can’t get out from because his franchise owner is cheap.

  • http://airtsinelas21.blogspot.com Roy

    Free Steve Nash!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @ afra33 – Don’t forget how STEVE NASH himself feels about other teams; as bad as Toronto are Steve would love to be playing in Canada, New York is his off-season home and that has a lot of appeal. Whether Amare and D’Antoni want to go down that route again I wouldn’t think so.
    ___
    I want Steve Nash to keep playing at a high level for ages. I don’t know who my favourite player could possibly be after he is gone….

  • Kyle

    @Ronald: Definitely Cuban learned a lot. He proved that when you stick by your main players, you win it all eventually.

    Nick Van Exel said it best when they traded him for I believe Antoine Walker. He said, we had great team chemistry, and it takes a few years. This was the season after they lost to the Spurs when Dirk injured himself, and only played in one game. It also was the worst year Dallas had throughout this run at the playoffs(they got bounced quickly by the Kings.) Adding Walker and Jamison, hurt Nash’s game and Dirk’s game. This led to Nash being undervalued by all but one team with a bunch of up and coming fast players perfect for the run and gun system.

    I still think he gave too much money to Haywood, but Cuban has that kind of money. With a new cap, he’s going to have to get creative if he wants to sign Tyson Chandler(and will have to overpay big time.) Butler may sign a one year deal for reasonable money coming off a pretty major injury to prove himself, but no way can they resign everyone. Stevensen is most important, cause he has Dirk’s back. And he’s the crazy guy you want on your team.

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