PHOENIX — Breathe easy Phoenix,isn’t going anywhere.
At least not if coach Alvin Gentry has anything to say about it.
“Steve’s not going to be traded; that I can tell you,” Gentry said. “If he’s getting traded, I’m going along with him.”
National trade rumors started swirling Monday when ESPN NBA analyst Ric Bucher brought Nash’s name up among other players on the hot stove.
Hoping to quell the chatter, the Suns’ coach issued a pretty emphatic and matter-of-fact response.
“Steve is here,” Gentry said. “Steve is the face of our franchise, so make sure that gets on every telecast, every radio, every page you guys got.”
Nash is seven games into his seventh season in the Valley since returning from Dallas.
“It’s not anything that’s been discussed here; it’s not going to happen,” Gentry said. “Have you looked at the way he’s playing? He’s playing at a real high level, why would we trade him? I don’t understand that.”
So far this season, Nash is averaging 18.7 points and 8.9 assists per game, both above his career averages, while taking a career-high amount of shots. Nash of course has won a pair of MVPs in Phoenix but has never made it beyond the conference finals.
“I’ve done everything I possibly can for this club but if that were to eventually happen, I’d [have to] move on,” Nash said. “But I signed here because I want to play with these guys and play in front of our fans.”
When asked if he had been approached by anyone or by his agent, Nash simply replied, “Nope, nothing.”
The 36-year-old has one year remaining on his contract after this season as part of a two-year, $22 million extension he signed during the summer of 2009 that kicked in this year.
“My personal opinion is that it’s just a lot of chatter,” Nash said. “It was a pretty frustrating year here two years ago and I re-signed because I thought we had unfinished business.”