The twilight of Steve Nash’s Hall of Fame career is being wasted in Phoenix, but there’s no telling (from Steve or the Suns) if that will continue to be the case by this year’s trade deadline. SI reports: “As inspiring as Nash’s play is to the fans and the many teammates who hope they’re still playing — let alone playing well — at his age, the reality is that the Suns face a daunting crossroads in the next month. Their options? Hold on to Nash through the deadline and until the end of the season, at which time he’ll become a free agent and they’ll possibly be left with a talent pool as dry as the Arizona desert. Or, of course, listen to trade offers and be open to the idea of swapping their beloved franchise centerpiece for young talent that could speed up the rebuilding process. General manager Lon Babby has made it clear that Nash is far and away the most influential voice in this situation. If Nash says he wants out, Babby has said, then a deal will be done. If not, then he stays. Coach Alvin Gentry has even offered to be the one delivering that message should Nash decide to send it. ‘I know, as of right now, he has not said one thing to me about not wanting to be here or anything like that,’ Gentry said. ‘I know there are a lot of teams that would like for him to say [that] so they can try to get him, but unfortunately [for them] that’s not anything that we’ve had to deal with or anything that he’s even remotely said to me.’ Yet while Nash seems to be the one making the ultimate decision, even he acknowledged that he’s unsure what will happen in the immediate future. ‘I have no idea what the club will eventually do if a bunch of offers are thrown in their face,’ Nash said, ‘but I feel like I’m not nervous about [the trade deadline] and I’m not thinking about — what’s the word? — I’m not anticipating anything to happen. I feel like I made a commitment and I feel like I owe it to my teammates — the city, the fans, the club — to play it out and to play as hard as I can.’ Gentry is right that the hope remains among rival teams. One executive whose team has had serious interest in Nash in the past told SI.com that the Suns are ‘as close as they’ve ever been’ to realizing that they need to seriously consider pulling the trigger on a trade if a young star is offered in return. Still, it appears the greater likelihood is that he remains. ‘Our position has been the same all along, which is I’ve told him that he has earned the right to stay with our franchise as long as he wants provided that he believes in what we’re doing, and provided that he’s all in and wants to do that,’ Babby said.”
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