It would take an immense turn of events for atrade to be consummated before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, but Nash’s agent Bill Duffy told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that such a deal could go down this summer.
Since Nash and the Suns’ brass have repeatedly shot down the slightest inkling of a trade possibility this season, it seems safe to presume all the many variables that would go into a deal won’t materialize in the next two weeks, especially with the Suns finally rolling having won six of seven and 11 of 15.
But here’s what Duffy told Stein about the offseason:
“Steve is a Phoenix Sun and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say he’s the face of that franchise. But logic dictates that it would be prudent for the Suns to start looking at their long-term future in the summer, so we would expect that they may entertain moving him during the summer. We are ready for that and we anticipate a very respectful process if they decide to look at starting over with a younger core.”
I happen to agree with Duffy that the Suns need to at least mull the possibility this offseason when they could potentially get a lottery pick in return or another asset that could speed up the eventual rebuilding process.
I was certainly surprised that Stein has heard Minnesota has been hottest in pursuit of Nash. Stein’s sources told him that in the Timberwolves’ fantasy Nash would come to Minnesota as a mentor for Ricky Rubio.
John Krolik from ProBasketballTalk finds this as a huge shock:
“To be frank, everything about this is extremely bizarre. To trade for Nash’s contract, the Timberwolves would have to move Sebastian Tefair and Corey Brewer, both of whom have expiring deals, as well as another contract. The Timberwolves are not going to make the playoffs this year, so all Nash would do is keep the Timberwolves from getting a high-lottery pick.
“And why would Nash sign an extension with the Timberwolves? For the opportunity to mentor a player who plays the same position as Nash and has no outside shot to speak of? And where does all of this leave Jonny Flynn? Also, Minnesota has the #27 defense in the league and no defensive presence in the middle. Instead of making a run at Kendrick Perkins or Tyson Chandler, Minnesota wants to focus its cap space on chasing Nash? And again, why would the 37-year old Nash want to sign what will likely be his final deal with the Timberwolves instead of trying to get a ring? Again, this makes no sense. Thanks for keeping us on our toes, Timberwolves.”
I agree with Krolik on every point, and would add the Suns would never send him to a wasteland like Minnesota. For everything he’s meant to this franchise, if a trade ends up having to happen the Suns will deal him to a good situation, which is the exact opposite of what Minnesota is.
Plus, what would the Suns get back? I would love either Kevin Love or Rubio, but dealing a franchise cornerstone makes no sense for a young rebuilding team that is far more than a Nash away from contention.
For now, the Nash rumors have been kept to a minimum (as opposed to the Amare situation from last season) as any movement on this front is unlikely to go down before the summer.