No movement on Steve Nash trade rumors as Two Time approaches 37th birthday


It appears as if Steve Nash will be finishing the season in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

It appears as if Steve Nash will be finishing the season in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

PHOENIX — Last year at this time the Phoenix Suns were embroiled in the saga of Amare Stoudemire trade rumors, but this season there has been nary a whisper about any deal involving Steve Nash outside of media members speculating on this very possibility.

ESPN’s Marc Stein spent some quality time with the man known as Two Time this week and produced a featured item in his Weekend Dime that basically says the Suns won’t even consider making such a deal unless Nash comes to them first asking for it, which Nash tells Stein he has no plans to do.

No reporter knows Nash the way Stein does so I would highly recommend reading the whole thing.

Stein also reports that if the Suns were ever to change their minds then Atlanta, Portland, Orlando, Dallas, Toronto and Minnesota have let the Suns know they’re interested, but Stein quotes an exec saying nobody is willing to give up one of their top two players in return for the soon-to-be 37-year-old. Also, if thing were ever to go this way, it’s likely Grant Hill would be involved as well.

Stein quotes Gentry as saying a Nash trade would be his “worst nightmare” as well as saying, “How you gonna get value for him? Unless you’re gonna go get Deron Williams or Chris Paul or somebody like that, tell me how. Why do we have to bottom out to rebuild our team? I don’t see why you would want to bottom out and spend the next five years trying to get good again.”

With the Suns appearing to start to click and with the trade deadline rapidly approaching on Feb. 24, there doesn’t seem to be time for everything that needs to come together to make a Nash trade a reality to occur.

I’ve always felt the Suns would be best off waiting until the summer when they could potentially deal him for a package headlined by a high lottery pick, but as things stand Nash should remain the Suns’ franchise player for at least the rest of this season.

Suns producing wins

If Nash does indeed stay in Phoenix the rest of the season, it’s likely the Suns will at least stay in the hunt for a playoff spot the rest of the year.

With that in mind, Andres Alvarez from NerdNumbers.com analyzed the Suns’ Wins Produced numbers since making the Orlando blockbuster trade and he likes what he sees, largely because of Gortat, who is putting up a WP48 of .220 (an average player is at .100). That has led Gortat to produce 2.87 wins in this time, second on the Suns behind only Nash (0.366 WP48, 5.92 wins).

Vince Carter has also been above average (0.112, 1.41), Jared Dudley very good (0.192, 2.69) and Grant Hill solid (0.078, 1.07).

Robin Lopez and Channing Frye have produced below average seasons, so Alvarez reasons that if the Suns could swing a deal for a power forward they could be a tough out in the playoffs.

Alvarez also took a look at how the Orlando trade is working out for both squads and determined the Suns have gotten more production out of the deal (3.93 wins to 3.68 and a 0.132 WP48 to 0.102) because Gortat has been the best guy in the trade by far and Carter and J-Rich have put up similar numbers. Not bad when you consider the Suns also got out from under Hedo’s contract and have a first-rounder coming their way to boot.

Nash on All-Star snub

Nash did not appear to be too worked up about not being selected for the All-Star Game.

“I thought the guys who made it deserved it,” he said. “I know people looked at my numbers and said I could easily be an All-Star this year, but the other guys deserve it as well. They’ve had great years, and I’m happy for them. I think they’re all very well-deserving.”

It will be nice for Nash to have a few days to rest all his nagging ailments instead of being subjected to all the hullaballoo of All-Star Weekend, but it still must hurt a guy as competitive as Nash is not to receive this honor during one of his finest seasons.

“I think the rest part is good, but it would have been nice to have him make the team,” Gentry said. “It is what it is. We’ll see what happens, we’ll see if Deron Williams is healthy enough to play, and we’ll see what happens from there.”

Gortat adjusting to attention

After averaging almost 20 points per game on 67 percent shooting through the first four games of the homestand, Marcin Gortat found heavy defensive pressure on his rolls and even double teams at times for the first time in his career Friday against Oklahoma City.

That led him to score just 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting, as the Thunder never let him get into the rhythm he found in previous games.

“Most of these guys were just waiting for me inside,” Gortat said. “They were really waiting for me, and I was forcing a lot of shots and a lot of moves. As an experienced player I should make a different decision.

“That’s something unusual for me, it’s a new experience. You’ve just got to come up with something new, you’ve got to be more focused, make a better decision, take better shots in the game and that’s I guess how it’s going to be the next couple games. You’ve just got to figure out how to play. You’ve just got to play smart and make the right decisions.”

Better than .500

The Suns’ short-term goal is to become a .500 team, a mark that’s long been elusive for them, but Alvin Gentry knows their goals ultimately must be much loftier than that.

“It’s like shooting par on the PGA Tour,” he said. “.500 in the West doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a short-term goal that you set. You shoot part on the PGA Tour, and you’ll be working at Denny’s. That’s just a short-term goal that we have, but we know that we have a lot of work to do if we want to be a playoff team.”

Oklahoma City head coach Scotty Brooks for one at least thinks that is possible.

“Phoenix is playing good basketball, they’re well coached and Phoenix is going to win a lot of games the rest of the year,” he said after escaping the Valley with a victory.

Gentry’s Super Bowl pick

A Milwaukee reporter asked Gentry for his Super Bowl pick before the Suns hosted the Bucks on Wednesday, and Alvin disappointed the poor guy.

Gentry likes the Steelers by the score of 27-24.

And 1

The Suns entered Friday ranked third in opponent field goal percentage in their last 10 games, yielding 42.8 percent shooting, before allowing the Thunder to hit 51.2 percent of their looks. They proudly displayed that last 10 games stats on a whiteboard in their locker room, highlighting their jump with a big orange star. For the season the Suns rank 27th in this department.

Tags: Alvin Gentry Marcin Gortat Steve Nash Vince Carter

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    Surfed the ESPN Dime article on Nash. It was well done.

    I kind of get the sense that teams want Nash without giving up much which is why I thought it’d take a 3 or 4, (even 5?), team deal to get PHX enough back for Nash during the season.

    Still, the rhetoric seems to lead you to think that something may happen after this season is over, doesn’t it?

    Gentry is talking about Nightmares, but Dragons eat nightmares. If he is going to continue on post-Nash, he has to get his young general ready. I mean they already play together, (Nash and Dragic), so perhaps put Nash out on the corner a few times and let Dragon run it with Nash out there. You have to get him ready. You have to get JMZ ready.

    The article did have me thinking though. Channing Frye must be very attractive to a title contender, especially teams like Boston and Orlando who are comfortable with big men who sit further out. His contract is a bit… beefy, though.

    What I actually liked out of this article, (and from what I saw in the OKC game even as a loss and the collapse of VC), is the attention paid to THORTAT.

    For all of Amare’s success in the valley, he didn’t really command a traditional double team because he operated outside-in as a turn-and-face-attacking PF.

    Gortat should take it as a compliment that people are now looking for him. He has to start taking advantage, and Gentry has to install wrinkles in the offensive system to allow for it.

    Nash can get people open looks, but what happens when the 5-man can get them from the inside as well? That is promise.

  • shazam

    we need a good defending power forward to keep 2 time relevant..his stats on offense look about the same but he defends like a revolving door more now than ever before.its like the opposition jumps on stevies shoulders… and old 2 time piggy backs them to the hoop.Defense?Aiding and abetting is more like it.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    Nash has never been great as an on-ball defender. He will always draw charges and shoot the passing lanes, but that’s it.

    a “good defending 4″ does nothing for the team if he can’t spread the floor. You’d be trading one weakness on defense for a crippling one on offense. Gortat will continue to be a fine anchor on the defensive side just via rebounding alone. 2nd chance points are not as easy flowing as they used to be.

    Back to Nash, he isn’t really the “problem” on the defensive end as he has always been a poor defender. It’s the new combination of him with VC that does the damage because, unlike before, VC can’t slow down the perimeter attack because he might be the one guy who plays worse D than two-time.

  • Cam

    Maybe they should consider putting jchill with Nash to help on D and have VC be with Gortat off the bench. I don’t know. Go Suns.

  • shawn

    Does anyone know if the suns are keeping dowdell or was he sent back to the d league because I think his contract was up yesterday.

  • Heretic

    I hate to say it, but Nash for Bynum is a totally feasible trade that the Lakes would take in a heartbeat. In fact, they’d probably take Channing or Childress off our hands for it. Maybe throw in a draft pick, too. Nash would be incredible in the triangle, and would take Kobe (boo! hiss!) and Pau’s game to another level – it would make the Lakes title favorites for sure. And it might be worth it for the Suns if they get a young, powerful center (albeit one with knee issues) and get out from under the JChill contract.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6ydutl4

    Argg. Now I want to go cut my wrists.

  • Jason

    Laker trade, no way. Bynum sucks anyway. Laker fans hate him, trust me. They’d be thrilled to get rid of him. Besides, we don’t need a center.

  • Mike Meez

    Why we would want a center that can’t make it through a whole season without an injury at age 23 is beyond me. Plus, we have Robin Lopez for that.

    Also, see Bill Simmons thoughts on trading Steve: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/110204&sportCat=nfl. My “conversation” with Steve that’s in the mailbag inspired Bill to write it, no big deal.

    I understand Gentry’s fear of losing Nash. In the short term, it would be terrible for the Suns and we probably would bottom out. So for Gentry, that would inevitably lead to his firing, even if it’s not because of him but because of the lack of talent. That’s just how NBA coaching works.

    But in the long-term, if we can get good value for Nash, I think it makes sense to deal him. Here’s our options: 1. Keep Nash and remain a middling Western team that may or may not make the playoffs for the next couple years, AND THEN drop off to a bottom feeder. 2. Trade Nash and start over now while we can still get value for him. “Bottom out” and rebuild. That’s the only way to get high draft picks. That’s how our team was built in the first place. We got Marion and Amar’e with #9 picks and that was lucky.

    Usually, teams have to fall further than that and get a top 5 pick to turn things around. Look at San Antonio, they tanked the season before the 97 draft to get Duncan. Cleveland and Miami had to be terrible in order to get LeBron and Wade, respectively. Suns have never had a #1 draft pick and almost never in the top 5 because they’re always pretty good, but I’m kinda tired of that. A championship is the only thing left. Why settle for mediocrity?

  • Mel.

    Heretic, the swap for Gortat makes that trade a non-starter. I’d be worried about it had the Orlando deal never happened, but there’s no way in hell the Lakers drop one of their skyline for a player who’s even older than their current veteran PG and who’s even LESS concerned on defense.

    Marcin gives the Suns a huge piece with a great attitude, and–honestly–the potential to put up numbers similar to Bynum is, this season. He also won’t shatter like cheap china if someone brushes up against him, as has been #17′s calling card since he arrived in the league. I’d rather the warlocks spent their time doing something other than Humpty-Dumpty work on a guy whose proneness to injuries is hedging on Oden-like.

  • shazam

    <—– agrees w/ every word of mel. post

  • shawn

    Wow mel couldn’t have put it better myself cosign 100%

  • Mel.

    Actually, Meez totally beat me to the swing on this one. LOL. Sorry to echo what you’d pretty much already put down, Mike, you caught me while I was typing that post up. :D

  • Tasty Goldfish

    Agreed with Meez.

    Nash for Bynum doesn’t work outright because the Suns don’t need a center. But Nash would make the Lakers a lot better (trade machine gives them +6 wins on that swap). And Bynum is definitely worth something to a third team. (Despite his problems, he is a 23-yo 7 footer, a year removed from All Star status). The question is how much we could get. Could we get a quality big man for Bynum? I tinkered with the trade machine for a little while (totally addictive). The best I could do was Monroe + Prince (high-upside young big man + cap relief) but I don’t know if Detroit would go for that. They might, though, they have a black hole at center right now. Who else really needs a center and would overpay for Bynum?

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    ESPN reports that a trade centered around Steve Nash and Bynum as the core players involved in a multi-player deal is beyond the infinite abyss of bad.

    More details to come when hell freezes over.

  • ProudFan

    Mr.Nash is still playing like 2xMVP. Only years that matter are on his contract. (see Lebron, Bosh, etc. situation)

    And HELL NO to all crappy deals !!!!

  • George Z

    Phx – rights to Ricky Rubio, and Zach Randolph
    Minn – Draft pick from NY and or Anthony R.
    Mem – Eddy Curry for ( Expiring contract )
    NY – Nash and Hill
    I know both Nash and Hill have too much class to ask for a trade, but if Phx brass offer them to both go to NY i think they would accept it. I dont want to see them go anywhere but Phoenix but I also dont think one should be selfish and try to keep them both here when they have a chance to really win a championship somewhere else. (of course NY is far from being a champ. contender, but I am sure they both would enjoy being in NY)

  • Cam

    Check this trade out. Didn’t think it was to bad. we would get out of two bad contracts by getting rid of Frye and Warrick, we would probably have to give up one of our first round picks to indiana, but overall we get an excellent player in granger, get a cheaper, better version of frye in galinari, and only get stuck with feltons contract at 7mil for this year and the next. Indy would get cap releif, a young stud in Landry, and only get stuck with one bad contract in Warrick. They would get a pick from us anyway so I think they wouldn’t mind. The knicks get what they want in Nash and Hill and get stuck with Fryes’ contract. I think it would get us rebuilt fast and without losing any momentum. Only problem is I would hate to see Nash and Hill leave. At least I could root for three players I like on the knicks. http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4sachyx

  • Cam

    Go Suns.

  • Zak

    Cam, I’m not at all sold on the idea that any trade that would bring Granger to the Suns is a good thing. Granger played almost no minutes for coach K in the FIBA World Championships and considering the level of talent on that team – even though the did win the gold – that makes me leery of Granger. And Galinari is another Turkoglu… a 6′ 10″ SMALL forward. Of course he’s only 22 and he would make a good addition to the team although he certainly can’t be considered an equal trade for Grant Hill right now as far as overall talent goes.

  • Zak

    Oh yeah, and I doubt the Knicks are considering too many trades that don’t include Melo right now or might keep them from signing him once he becomes a free agent either. They KNOW that Melo wants to play in MSG so why would they want to get Hill even for just the rest of this season if they have to give up so much? If the Knicks can’t work out a reasonable deal with Denver for Melo before the end of the trade deadline, I expect them to stand pat until they can sign him as a FA during the off-season. I’m sure they would love to have Nash too but they won’t trade away too much to get him.

  • Tasty Goldfish

    ESPN reports that the interested teams are Orlando, Atlanta, Portland, Dallas, Toronto and Minny.

    Let’s go over some options for each.

    ATL: Nash for J Smith. It works, cap-wise. Trade Machine says that it decreases Suns by 6 wins.

    (Note: ATL cannot trade for JChill).

    ORL: Nash for Jameer and Anderson. Works, cap-wise. Nets us a decent replacement PG and a big man with upside. Trade Machine predicts that this would actually increase Suns by 1 win. (http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4w6u8vp)

    ORL doesn’t have anything else that we want that they’d give up. Meanwhile Anderson is expendable for them as would be Jameer if they had Nash.

    POR — tough to make anything work here.

    Nash for Aldridge doesn’t work cap-wise (Aldridge is a BYC player). Neither does Nash for Roy (and I don’t think the Blazers would make that trade anyway), Roy is also BYC.

    Nash for Miller + Batum works. Meh.

    Nash + Jchill for Miller + Oden works. That’s pure salary dump, since Oden’s contract is up this year. (Though maybe the warlocks could fix him up going forward.) Also uninspiring.

  • Tasty Goldfish

    DAL: Any trade here would be an outright gift.

    Nash + Hill for Terry + Roddy works. Dallas +13 wins, Phx -13.

    MIN ain’t giving up Love.

    Nash for Ridnour + Beasley works under the cap, but meh.

    MIN could absorb the Jchill contract. Still meh.

    They could throw in Flynn or Rubio. Still nothing to write home about.