Amid all the hype about the Summer of 2010 nationally surrounding the LeBron circus and locally about Amare’s defection, we seem to have forgotten that another fairly important member of the Phoenix Suns could have been a free agent this summer: .
Nash’s six-year deal signed in 2004 was set to expire last summer, but the Suns of course extended him for two years and $22 million in last summer’s big move.
At the time it was viewed as a curious move being that few saw the Suns as contenders (how wrong that was last season) and since he likely could have stood to bank much more than the $22 million he signed for last summer considering all the teams with money to burn.
The Knicks for certain would have made a huge play for Nash after striking out on LeBron. New York has always been a team that interests Two Time, and with their deep pockets and Amare and D’Antoni, it really might have been the New York Suns had Nash been a free agent.
Alas, Steve Nash chose the security of the two years and comfort with the organization in signing the deal, but after enjoying such a spectacular season last year he probably would have been in line for a nice raise on the open market. I bet he could have gotten something in the area of three years and $40 million.
However, this isn’t to say the extension was a bad deal for Nash. He’s still paid well and his decision to extend showed his teammates how much faith he has in this situation, which led to what happened last year. Nash pulling a Malone and trying to win a cheap ring with a contender wouldn’t be what he’s all about anyway, so you must respect him for trying to win a real ring with a team that is his own.
Without question, that is the case in Phoenix. According to a study by Neil Paine on Basketball Reference, Nash has played for better offenses than anybody in history and outside of long-time teammate Amare Stoudemire, nobody else is close.
Really this is no surprise since Nash has led three of the top four and six of the top 11 offenses of all time (all but one in Phoenix), and has directed the league leader in efficiency for practically the last decade.
So while Nash would have been a hot commodity on the open market, he did not need to be showered with love by drooling suitors like a particular trio in South Beach and he did not feel the need to squeeze every last dollar out of what could be his final contract when he’s got a situation that suits him just fine.