Suns Rumors: Will Nash want out?


Nash and Gentry watched the Suns' playoff hope flicker away in Sacto. (AP/Thearon W. Henderson)

Is Nash looking ahead to finishing off his career in a different uniform? (AP/Thearon W. Henderson)

As Suns fans anxiously wait to see what direction their franchise will be going this season, the same could be said 10 times over for star guard Steve Nash.

Nash has hinted a number of times at possibly rather being in New York next season, as he not so subtly did on Letterman a few weeks back while making a joke, but every time he’s been asked about the topic he’s discussed making things work in Phoenix as his top priority.

If the Suns trade Amare for youth and decline to bring back Grant Hill, it would be hard to believe Nash would want to stick around to babysit a group of kids while his NBA expiration clock is ticking and fast.

Even if the Suns do bring Amare back, it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe Nash would want out considering the Suns don’t look like they’re going to be a serious contender in the immediate future.

Phoenix Stan of Bright Side thinks that if J Kidd goes back to Dallas, Nash will be heading to the Knicks later this offseason. He makes the points that Nash likely wouldn’t be happy with a rebuild, he’s not at his best when he’s in a situation he’s unhappy with as we saw last season and his trade value is at its highest point its going to be this offseason.

(Quick aside: how funny is it that Cuban is about to give J Kidd a three-year deal at age 36 when he worried about offering a 30-year-old Nash who still had a couple MVPs in him a long-term deal way back when.)

I’d add that with the way Nash is idolized in Phoenix, this is a situation that both sides are going to try to make as unmessy as possible. Nash isn’t the type of player who’s going to trash his employer to force a move, and with some of the bad PR heading toward Suns management for dismantling a championship contender, they’re going to do all they can not to botch this.

That’s starting with Kerr at least paying lip service to a three-year extension that doesn’t make sense for a Suns team that’s headed in the direction that they appear to be headed in.

Nash told The Globe and Mail that he hopes to stay in Phoenix but a trade would be “a possibility” if an extension can’t be worked out.

“I would preface it by saying that I love Phoenix and that’s what I’m focusing on right now,” Nash told the Toronto paper. “But I live in New York City, and I love it there, and [Knicks head coach] Mike D’Antoni was one of my favorite coaches. If it didn’t work out in Phoenix, obviously that would be a place I’d consider.”

Phoenix Stan proposes something like Nash for David Lee in a sign-and-trade, Danilo Gallinari and a first. I don’t see any way in hell the Knicks do that considering there’s a decent chance they’ll get Nash without giving up any compensation next offseason. But a trade certainly should happen from a Suns perspective if Nash doesn’t want a two-year extension after this season in the $8 mil range.

I could see a deal centering around Lee in a sign-and-trade and Chris Duhon. Ideally you then pair Lee with Amare and go into the next decade with a couple young legit bigs, but if nothing else Lee gives the Suns a big who thrives in the transition game and who will go out and get you 20 rebounds every once in a while. Duhon knows how to run this system and brings a $6 mil expiring deal.

From there, they could focus on acquiring an elite point guard (or a future elite point guard) in an Amare trade if they don’t go ahead and just keep him.

Speaking of Amare, either the Warriors and Suns are playing a hell of a poker game or that deal really appears to be all but dead. I credit the Suns for not making a panic trade once the Warriors apparently pulled Curry off the table.

My stance since the trading deadline in February has been I’m OK with an Amare deal so long as they get back a package of youth that can recharge the franchise. Such a deal never presented itself around the deadline, and I’m skeptical that it will at any point this summer.

If you can get a Curry-Biedrins-Wright, pull the trigger; otherwise, stay put and hope he doesn’t leave you for nothing next summer.

One more note from the Globe and Mail story, it mentions that the Shaq trade was “a move that Nash reportedly supported – if not pushed for – in a meeting with Kerr.”

We all know Nash and Shaq couldn’t co-exist together on either end of the floor and that Nash discussed the team needing active bigs during his exit interview. Still, it’s kind of interesting that the veteran point guard would find it easier for him to win in Phoenix without the four-time champion in the middle than with him there.

Maybe the Suns should have consulted Nash before trading for the Big Cactus in the first place.

And what about the Ben Wallace deal?

ESPN’s Ric Bucher has reported on Twitter that the Suns can deal Wallace’s deal for Tyson Chandler whenever they so please. They just want to check everything else out before going down that path.

In his blog, Paul Coro points out that such a deal may be doubtful because of Chandler’s $12.75 mil option next summer, an offeseason the Suns are clearing cap space for. If the Suns want the Hornets to sweeten the deal, they might be unwilling to provide a young cheap option the Suns want considering they won’t even be getting any talent in return in this deal.

Depending on what the Suns do, the Chandler deal could make a ton of sense. A lineup of Nash-J-Rich-Hill-Amare-Chandler with Dragic, LB, Dudley, Clark, Lou and Robin coming off the bench should be able to contend for a top-four spot in the West.

Of course on the flip side, it would severely limit their 2010 flexibility, but since Chandler would be such a perfect complement to Amare in the front court as well as to Nash in defending the pick-and-roll, if the Suns want to go for it now and then decide to build around Amare in the future, this is the move to make.

If they want to play for 2010 or end up dealing Amare for a center like Biedrins, obviously this move doesn’t make sense.

  • brett

    hurry up and get the chandler deal done already. wallace is a waste and we dont have a first rounder this year thanks to sarver so might as well go for broke with an athletic defensive minded center

  • Ash

    Are you mental? Top four in the West by replacing Shaq with Chandler? Keep dreaming man, you didn’t even make the playoffs last year.

  • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

    I wrote contend for a top-four spot, and frankly with the way the West was so bunched up this past season, they very well may have done that if Amare didn’t get hurt. Also this year they will be playing the same style that they’re used to from the start of training camp. Plus, you can’t underrate the contributions Clark will likely make as well as the strides Robin and Goran should make.

  • Mark

    Oh yeah and ASH? Screw you and your lakers!!! or should I say the Fakers!

  • http://yahho.com todd

    the suns set, thats it, once Almcoy retires, it's done, just sell the team, leace then in san deigo, thats where they having training camp, anyways, leave them there.

  • http://yahho.com todd

    I'VE BEEN A SUNS FANS SINCE, FOREVER, THROUGH ARSDALES, KJ. TISDALES, NASH, , AND IM STILL WAITING WHOS THE NEXT PLAYER GOING TO STEP UP

  • king fahd

    I also have to disagree with Ash (and almost everyone else) about the Suns not being a playoff team. They could have easily been the in the top 4. They didn’t stick to one system, preferably the fast-pace that made them successful. Shaq wasn’t a fit personnel with the fast-pace, as Nash wasn’t with Terry Porter’s half-court system. Plus, with Earl Clark (aka Matrix Reloaded) in the mix, he can fit into that role of what Marion was with the Suns, including he’s taller than Marion (and cheaper). The Suns will be shining, as long as they’re running and no eyes are being gauged. Keep Amar’e in the Suns!

  • Jason

    I am still just shocked at how quickly this franchise was destroyed by Sarver and Kerr. I long for the Colangelo/D’Antoni era. Since I have to live in the now, perhaps Phoenix should deal Nash . . . I love the guy, but they do need to rebuild, and in my opinion, the owe Steve huge for what he has given Phoenix. As far as Amare, I am tired of defending him, hyping him, and believing in him in general. He is too much of a pre-madona, with over-rated offensive skills and lets face it, he just doesn’t want to hustle in any other area. He will leave next year, so i would try to do something now. I think the people in Phoenix would accept a rebuild, if they felt management would allow Gentry to create a new and improved seven seconds or less. I love what Clark brings, like J-Rich, Goran, and even LB. Griffin could pan out and the development of Lopez seems to be coming along. Trade the big names for some quality guys, draft picks, and cap space. Perhaps kerr should even come out and publically take responsibillity for destroying the team and vowing to make it right in the future. That is something I believe the fans and franchise could buy into.

  • Mark

    I think the Suns Botch it every year. Who cares anymore. I left my Suns heart on the floor back in the 92-93 season anyway. I mean Hedu is up for grabs and the Suns pass…sure why would you want to get a good shooter? I mean the Task of Kerr is to watch his perfection of dismantling the Suns succeed. He must have a deal out there with someone.

  • Jonathan

    SUNS are inconsistent, Keep NASH only because he can make a team better offensively. Get Chandler only because he can help defensively. SIGN Hill back for leadership and offensive purposes. When it comes to defense take NASH out the game and play Chandler, Amare, Clark, Richardson, & Hill…Many of you forget Hill ran Point Forward in Detriot. We can beat any team in the league! LETS do it KERR & SARVER get your heads out of your …….

  • king fahd

    The 92-93 Suns team will always be my favorite team. Actually, it was the reason I started liking basketball. And folks need to stop mentioning Extreme Makeover: Suns Edition. This team just had an identity crisis last season. Amar’e and Nash did not perform to par because the Big Cactus demanded touches in a lot of plays. Like the Celtics of the 50′s and 60′s, the 7 seconds or less Suns are a Bill Russell-like player, who can manipulate the opposing team and run with the best of them. Only if we could of gotten a Ben Wallace of 5 years ago, it would be the icing. Who knows, maybe a 26 year old Tyson Chandler can get healthy and continue to mature. Physically, if healthy, Chandler definitely possesses the attributes of being Russell-like, but mentally, he has ways to go. Trust me! Don’t bring on the Demolition team, if only the shutters need to be added, which is only a small piece to a house. And don’t blame Kerr, he is only doing what is being demanded by the big boss. Sarver is like that uncle, who tells you to flush only once, so you can save (a little) money.

  • http://yahho.com todd

    trade Sarver and Kerr to london for the whole london’ team, and throw in the gorrila

  • jt

    What confuses me is that i keep reading that Nash doesnt want to be part of a rebuilding project but we’re in better position to win then the knicks if steve stays and we add a few pieces..I havent heard Lebron wade or bosh say they’d go to ny just nash and amare and they’re both here and would have a better supporting cast here then they would there..plus lee and robinson arent coming back and the knicks dont have a draft pick next yr..

  • http://yahho.com todd

    once bell and diaw was traded. i knew it was over

  • http://yahho.com todd

    sell the team back to Colangelo. sarver and kerr get out

  • http://yahho.com todd

    traded all of Nashes’ goodteamamtes, come on bring in Hedu, tyson, chandler, and , Marion back

  • Mark

    And Yes to "The Todd" Hedu, Tyson, Marion, Nash, Barby, Hill. Stat, RAJA!!!!!, That looks like a good team to me. I mean whats wrong with the Suns organization? Why do they year after year screw the fans the players and team, city and state? Maybe its just Arizona as a whole. Winning WORLD SERIES baseball team completely dismantled into what they are now…NOTHING!

    Suns owners you need to wake up and smell the sour grapes in Az. Bring in some talent. GO GET THE PLAYERS!!! Dig deep in those tight little pockets and PAY for the team Suns fans deserve!!!

    I liked Shaq as a Sun. I mean not at first because of the cost. But he was the BIG man the Suns needed. It failed because Shaq is not a shooter. Damn basketball looks like a softball in his mitts. And the other players stood around too much watching Shaq like fans in the seats not players on the court.

    And since I am on that…They also had an issue with watching a three point attempt being taken and missed and missing the rebound because they all had this look like "oh he's got that. It's in…OH crap it missed". Too late!

    What now Sarver and Kerr? What now?

  • Mark

    And another thing. Nash has always been one of my favorites in the league. He needs to stay. Nothing last year was his fault.

    Nash stay with the Suns and retire where you belong. In Arizona not New York City!!!

  • DiscoKeZ

    I maybe overreacted with the "fart him in the head" :P Mark..ima die hard fan 2 off the Phoenix suns and their organisation! :) Let´s seee what happens in the days 2 come :)

  • DiscoKeZ

    I think Kerr is an undercover spy for the spurs…I mean, why have a gm that played with the spurs(phx rivals) and with the bulls(finals 93) The man is a Phx hater all day! He made som nice trades over the years…..NOT! I promise u…one day we will se Mr. Kerr as the head coach of the Phx Suns!! When that day comes I personally gonna fart him in the head after eating beans….

  • Mark

    DiscoKeZ I like your enthusiasm about the truth of Kerr, but the “fart him in the head after eating beans” was enough for me to say this. Please don’t speak for us Suns fans EVER again!

  • Mark

    Hey look its looking typical for the Suns…Marion to the Mavs? Man say that sh*t aint so. Now I have to hate Shawn too…McDyess to the Spurs..eh I hated him anyway. Now he will be with the perfect hated team. The "Tainted title team"

    Anyway… there goes the neighborhood. We get to watch Shawn put us in our place four times a year now. I GIVE UP!!!!

  • Mark

    I guess its time to be a Faker fan…L.A. Fakers that is. They are gonna win for a few more years anyway…so we may as well jump on…WooHOO Fakers Rule!!!

  • joel

    keep nash get tyson. im happy about fry coming back to the valley and hill staying. sarver and kerr can die. colangelo! buy the team and find a family member to run the suns but you do all the work. fart guy ur……. no sense in making fun of u. i keep dreaming that marion comes back. barnes and j-rich play like u did when you first came aboard the suns. lopez dunk with both hands please!! goron is a badass, come out ur shell. and last but not least i hate the spurs as much as i will always love the suns.