Phoenix Suns talked Steve Nash to Minnesota trade, according to ESPN report, but Babby denies possibility

Posted by on June 22nd, 1:39 pm

Amid a flurry of rumors involving trade talk between the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves, one truth rises to the surface: the Phoenix Suns would love to showcase Derrick Williams as their star of the future.

But equally clear is the unlikelihood that the two sides will comes to an agreement.

ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chad Ford reported Wednesday that the Suns have discussed a deal with the Wolves “that would send Nash to Minnesota in a package for the No. 2 overall pick.” However, the deal never went beyond an “exploratory stage” due to a “mutual conclusion” on both sides that the trade wouldn’t work.

Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby has since made himself  perfectly clear that a Nash to Minnesota deal is out of the question.

He told The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro, “We are not trading Marcin Gortat. Period. End of sentence. We are not trading Steve Nash. Period. Exclamation point.”

Gortat had previously been linked to a deal for the No. 2 pick that would also include the Suns’ No. 13 selection.

On KTAR’s “Doug & Wolf” show, Babby also said, “I have said it a zillion times. We are not trading Steve Nash.”

The allure of course is Williams, and if the Suns can acquire a player they feel can be their star of the future it would at least make sense to entertain the possibility.

If the Suns trade Nash they would presumably be awful next year in what will likely be a lockout-shortened season anyway, and then their 2012 lottery pick could combine with Williams to form a solid 1-2 punch for a team that would still have quality pieces like Gortat, Jared Dudley and Channing Frye.

On the flip side, the Suns would never exile Nash to a rebuilding situation like Minnesota, and although the Wolves would love to acquire Nash to be a mentor to Ricky Rubio it does not make much sense for them to burn an asset as important as the No. 2 pick for a player who will be long gone before they become competitive.

The Suns routinely speak with every team in the league at this point of the season so “exploratory” talks could mean nothing more than Phoenix asking Minnesota what it would take for the No. 2 pick that the Wolves have been dangling since they lucked into it and David Kahn responding by asking for Nash.

These rumors continue to smolder because Minnesota is open to moving the pick and the Suns would love to acquire the UA star Williams, who would be a big draw in the Valley as well as a potential stud, but with the Suns unlikely to deal Nash or Gortat and the Wolves unlikely to be enticed by anything else this inquiry appears to have run its course.

Nash still feels a “loyalty” to Phoenix

Via Coro, Nash reiterated his commitment to the Suns in a presser in advance of his “Showdown in Chinatown” soccer game after being asked if he would ever want to become a Raptor:

“This is a tough question for me. When you’re in a situation (where) you’ve given a lot of your career to one franchise, you feel at home there. I feel a loyalty to my team, our community in Phoenix.

“I want us to try to get back and try to compete for a championship like we did two seasons ago so that’s kind of all I think about. So I don’t plan on leaving but obviously if the opportunity were ever there, where Phoenix were rebuilding or whatever happens, Toronto would be an amazing place to play.

“It’s a great city. It’d be at home in Canada. To be a part of their, hopefully, future success would be great but I don’t really have any plans other than try to get our team back in the playoffs and contend for a championship.”

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Draft · Minnesota Timberwolves · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Rumors · Steve Nash

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Jun 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I remember all the clowns coming around here saying Steve Nash is worth nothing to anyone, he’s too old, blah blah blah blah blah. I’ve read multiple reports that have confirmed that a ton of teams have been showing interest in Nash (most notably NY, Portland, and Orlando, the three teams I considered MOST LIKELY for a Nash trade)…

    Apparently one year of Nash might be worth 10-15 years of potential superstardom. I wish the Suns would pull the trigger on this deal. Even though Nash has been great to the Valley, I would take Irving or Williams over him right now.

  • 2 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jun 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I wouldn’t.

    I wouldn’t trade Nash for any one draft pick, (and thus one rookie), in this draft.

    Irving is a guy that I am not sold on, and Williams would likely have to play the 3 spot which means we would have to get rid of even more players just to fill out a roster.

    Now, if next year’s draft is going to be as sexy as advertised, maybe.

  • 3 GOsuns // Jun 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I agree with rich lets see how our wing situation develops in terms of trades and role finding we invested on guys like dudley and jchill and we need to see how theyre gonna fair this season

  • 4 Bob B // Jun 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I get an upset stomach when I hear Nash trade talk….that would be dumbest thing ever. Nash is the engine that everything go. There’s no one like him. The Suns would be a sputtering joke without Nash. Thankfully, I think management knows that.

  • 5 Steve // Jun 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Not that I’m accusing any of you who responded after me, but the same people who harp on our management for the terrible deals they make would agree with you… but our manage got Nash here and kept him here. If our management is responsible for Nash being here, and our management is also responsible for our plight… you connect the dots.

    I don’t agree that Nash is part of the solution. Is Nash better than Kyrie Irving will be this year? Yes. Nash might be playing better right now than Kyrie will ever play. But Steve Nash, while a beautiful offensive orchestrator, has not proven to be the type of PG who will do the little things that it takes to win on the defensive end of the court. I don’t need him to be prime Jason Kidd defensively. I just need him to be able to get through a screen and stay in front of his man. Nash IS part of the problem here in Phoenix. Our two biggest problems in his era have been rebounding and defense. We already know how he contributes to the defensive problems, but I believe the style of offense we are running that Nash thrives in is a contributor to our poor rebounding. On the offensive end, we rely on spacing such that we have zero to one interior presence who can actually grab an offensive board on any given possession. On the defensive end, Nash’s incompetence in defending the PnR causes mismatches all day long and rotations that are often late, leaving no bodies on the opposing team to box out (plus our guys don’t know how to box anyway). Not only that, but I also think that the offensive mindset we have had in the Nash era is, “If we can outshoot them, we can win.” While this is true in about 80% of games (actually, Bill Simmons just pointed this out in an article I read today), there are other contributing factors to winning, including defense and rebounding. If you can’t defend and you can’t rebound, it almost doesn’t matter how well you can shoot. Anyway, I feel like our guys don’t really care if the other team makes it or misses it, they’d rather just get to the other end of the court and play some offense. The easiest way to make that happen is to play lax defense to coax the other team into a quick shot, and it’s quicker still if they make that quick shot.

    /rant

    Is Nash worth more than one pick? I actually do think so. It wouldn’t be the best deal if we gave Nash away for one pick, even if was the second pick, but I don’t think it would hurt our chances of making something happen. This team is going NOWHERE with Nash.

  • 6 TradeBait // Jun 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Gortat and our pick for D. Will? Yes please! More changes are coming anyways, why not scoop a stud like DWill? (But keep Nash while doing so)

  • 7 Mike Meez // Jun 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Bite your tongue. Nash is definitely NOT part of the problem. Yes, rebounding and defense are problems. But how many times has a team with those problems thought: “Hey ya know what we need to improve our rebounding and defense? A great point guard” You can have a great defensive team without a good defensive PG.

    And just look at the numbers. To quote a past VotS blog: “Even with his second-half struggles Nash ranked second behind only Chris Paul in adjusted plus/minus, with the Suns 14.41 points better per 100 possessions” and “Nash produced 14.1 of the 38.9 wins credited to Phoenix’s players, a number within a slight margin of error of the 40 games they did win. By this measure Nash accounted for 36 percent of Phoenix’s victories, and only Gortat (8.1) and Dudley (7.6) are even above four” http://valleyofthesuns.com/2011/04/17/steve-nash-enjoyed-stellar-year-time-trade/#ixzz1Q3jjMvWh.

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t consider trading Nash, but I recognize the cost.

  • 8 KLS // Jun 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Why not trade Gortat AND our pick for DWill? Seriously? Because DWill is still unproven and Gortat is just taking off with the Suns’ system even without having a full year with them yet. DWill would play the 3, which means we’d have yet another 3 and now no 2, 4 or 5.

    Don’t trade Nash for any picks this year. Next years draft is much deeper, but there’s no guarantee what number pick the Suns would get.

  • 9 Evan // Jun 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Seriously throw all our crap at the wolfs (not nash, gortat, Frye or Dudly)
    Ok the Wolvs #2 pick for Lopez, Childless, Warwick, Pietris, the #13 pick, a future 1st round pick and cash!!!
    Now come on that’s fair (most likely wont happen but hay a guy can dream .

  • 10 Cam // Jun 22, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    @Evan: First off it’s the wolves not the wolfs. Second, that trade is just crazy. The wolves aren’t going to take two long term contracts in positions that they already have filled. They are already going to have a problem at PF and SF if they draft Williams. They are in the same position that the Suns are in, too many players that play the same spot. I do think that trading Pietrus and Fropez for one of their SF’s and their 20th pick would be a decent trade for the Suns but I don’t think the wolves would bite on that. The Suns would eliminate salary and be able to pick up a young big or a point guard depending on what they do with their 13th pick. They might also be able to trade down with a contender and possibly pick up a future pick in what could possibly be a loaded draft next year.
    On another note, I heard that the Celtics are looking for a big now that Kristic has left. I wonder if the Suns would be able to swing Fropez for the Celtics 1st round pick this year. I think that would be an ok trade for both teams. Any opinions on the trade?
    I also think that if the right trade was presented to the Suns from a contender the Suns should trade Nash. If the Suns could get some decent future picks or a combination of a decent young player with a pick and be able to offload a bad contract like Warrick with Nash they should do it. Nash deserves the chance for a title and it would accelerate the Suns rebuilding process. A young player with some potential and a future 1st while taking a bad contract along with Nash would be fair on both sides. I do not think that Nash is the problem though, he has single handedly kept the Suns somewhat respectable thtis last year. I just think he deserves a title. Go Suns.

  • 11 Cam // Jun 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Sorry if that sounded like a soapbox. Go Suns.

  • 12 Steve // Jun 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    @Mike- I’m not trying to say Nash is a bad player. He’s a great player. He’s a top 10 PG all-time and he’s still playing like it. All I’m saying is that his game does not translate to winning when it counts.

    He is pretty much the only reason we have had any success over the past few years running the system we do. I won’t deny that. But I also believe he is the main reason we haven’t been able to see the promised land, let alone conquer it. Nash NEEDS a defensive enforcer or two behind him in order to win. We don’t even have one. This team, as constructed, will win about 40 games next year, and Nash will leave anyway. If I had the choice between one more year of Nash vs 3-5+ years of Irving/Williams, I’d take Irving/Williams. At least with uncertainty there is hope. With Nash in a Phoenix uni, there is no hope.

  • 13 Marley // Jun 22, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    @Steve

    Look at you gloating over *rumors*! LMAO!

    But yet, the only news worthy publishable rumor is a trade with the MN T-wolves! LMAO!

    The MN T-Wolves fit exactly the kind of team I said would be most interested in a Steve Nash. A team that is need of a veteran leader. A team that needs a veteran PG to help their new PG star, Rubio.

    The Toronto Raptors is the other team that fits this bill.

    Now don’t be such a gullible fool! All of this stuff you read about Nash not wanting out and the Suns not wanting to trade him is called: PR!

    Of course, Nash wants out! Dude needs to win a championship to solidify his legacy.

    Of course, the Suns are thinking: REBUILDING

    So of course, Nash has asked management about trading him to a championship potential calibre team.

    Why would Nash ask to be traded to another poop team?

    So of course the Suns are going to try to get Nash onto teams like NY, Orlando, Portland, Miami, LA, OKC, Boston, and Chicago! And of course, these teams know Nash wants in!

    For the right price, and if Nash is willing to play a lesser role, of course any of these good teams might take him on.

    But the question is can Nash fit in with most of these good teams, and will Nash be willing to play a lesser role because most of these teams already have 2-3 good offensive players who need the ball.

    The only good team that Nash would fit in immediately is Orlando. But if Orlando wanted Nash, they would have traded for him last year already during the big midseason trade.

    Is Orlando going to be that much better with Nash instead of Jameer? Not really. I’d keep Jameer over Nash simply because Jameer is younger, stronger, and is good friends with Dwight Howard. But Nash as a backup to Jameer, yes – that can do!

    But Steve Nash’s worst nightmare right now is JJ Barea! JJ Barea is a free agent, and any good teams that were looking at Nash will now be looking a JJ Barea instead.

    JJ Barea is younger and has a ring!

    If the Suns were smart, they would do a sign-n-trade for JJ Barea with Nash. Because JJ Barea is the new Nash!

    LMAO!

  • 14 Tidezealot // Jun 23, 2011 at 3:23 am

    The only teams I’d like to see Steve traded to ( if it were to happen ) and they are highly unlikely to begin with are Utah and OKC.

    Steve orchestrating to KD or Gordon Hayward to would be awesome.

    None of that is going to go down.

    Let’s face it Steve is the face of PHX

  • 15 TradeBait // Jun 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

    @KLS… Yes, seriously. I am a Suns fan but they need to completely restart, and no more of this 1/2 rebuilding stuff. You think keeping Gortat is really going to be a season fix? If so, you shouldn’t. Which is why I said there will be more moves to come. They need to just revamp, fresh start.

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