Phoenix Suns face three options with Steve Nash that will determine their future direction


Lon Babby has crunched the numbers, and rebuilding just doesn’t make sense.

According to The Arizona Republic, Babby and the Suns have determined that conference finalists that tear down and launch a “massive rebuilding project” take an average of a decade to get back to that level.

Such an analysis shows why Babby seems to prefer to keep the Suns’ older core players like Steve Nash and Grant Hill while adding to that nucleus with pieces like Markieff Morris and perhaps a decent free agent shooting guard rather than starting over and building through the draft.

Babby is trying to prevent the Suns from turning into the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that actually reached the 2003-04 West Finals but has not been a playoff team since and has won 32 games the last two years combined in Years 6 and 7. That’s why Babby keeps reiterating that the Suns won’t be trading Nash, period, exclamation point.

The downside, of course, is what if this means he is just delaying the inevitable? What happens if the Suns are forced to rebuild whenever Nash leaves but don’t face as favorable a landscape to start the project? Such a scenario could just delay the decade or so the Suns must wait before returning to their Nash era heights.

As has been the case with most things on Planet Orange the last seven years, Steve Nash is the fulcrum on which their future direction rests. I see three possibilities:

1.  Trade Nash immediately after the lockout or at the trade deadline.

2.  Sign Nash to a two-year extension.

3.  Let Nash walk at the end of the 2011-12 season.


Originally I planned on writing this article about how if the Suns would not consider Option 1 then they had to start working on Option 2 right after the lockout ends. After further examination I see merit in all three choices.

The biggest reason to trade MVSteve would be to put the team in a better rebuilding situation. I would have favored the draft day deal involving Derrick Williams that was discussed so the Suns could be bad for what may be a shortened 2011-12 season and then have D-Will and a high lottery pick in the 2012 draft to build around along with Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley.

The 2012 draft is a huge part of this strategy. The Suns desperately need a future star, and with next year’s draft seemingly flush with those kinds of players Phoenix would be wise to start thinking of a 2012 plan that would involve a high draft choice, cap space and perhaps a quality young player from a Nash trade.

The downside is that it goes against everything the organization has said in regards to Nash over the course of the last year and directly contradicts Babby’s argument against rebuilding made at the start of this story. On paper it’s easy to figure the Suns could execute a quick rebuild with a 2012 pick, cap space and assets from a Nash deal but such quick rebuilds rarely actually come to fruition.

If Phoenix struggles out of the gates it would seem to make logical sense for the Suns to consider this scenario, but at this point they seem to be squarely focused on Option 2 (or possibly 3).

The next question that must be answered is how long do the Suns feel Nash will continue to play at a high level. Presumably the answer is past this season because if the Suns didn’t think Nash had much left in the tank then they would be trying to move him.

In that case the Suns would have to consider another two-year extension probably in the same neighborhood of the deal he’s making now. I might even recommend a two-year, $20-million deal, which is a slight pay cut but also an incredibly high salary for a player who will be 40 by the end of such a contract.

This deal would be a gamble for the Suns. If Nash performs anywhere near his current level of play this would be a supreme steal, but if he finally declines or becomes hampered by injuries that’s a lot of money to be tied up in a player nearing 40.

Re-signing Nash would accomplish Babby’s goal of staving off rebuilding since the Suns figure to at least be a decent team so long as Nash is around and it’s always possible another run could be in the cards, but continuing to employ Nash could cost the Suns a chance to find a future star in the draft.

Option 3 was reprehensible to me until analyzing the Suns’ salary situation. Without Nash in the equation, the Suns only have about $28 million committed during the Summer of 2012. Taking back players, of course, would cut into such flexibility.

In this way the Suns would enjoy the savings from Nash’s $11.7 million expiring deal without having to take the blame that would come with being the front office that traded Steve Nash away from Phoenix. If the split is amicable with the Suns rebuilding at that point and Nash going off to a contender, the Suns would avert the public relations disaster that a Nash trade would be seen as to some.

Expiring contracts that lead to cap space only become supremely valuable if they put you in position to sign a max-contract player whose true value is much higher than what an NBA max contract allows. That’s why the Knicks mortgaged so much for the opportunity to sign two max guys.

We will have to know the results of the new CBA before truly evaluating the viability of this option, and we’ll have to see if any top 2012 free agent would be interested in Phoenix so the Suns don’t just end up with a bucket full of role players once again.

Added into this calculated analysis is the emotional aspect of Steve Nash. We’re talking about one of the most beloved players in franchise history, so on top of Babby’s study warning against massive rebuilding projects it would be flat-out heartbreaking to ship away Two Time.

For now the Suns steadfastly refuse to consider Option 1 and have not commented publicly much about Options 2 and 3, but the path they eventually choose in regards to Nash will go a long way toward determining the length of the Suns’ next rebuilding project … and perhaps whether they will need to rebuild at all.

Tags: Lon Babby Steve Nash

  • Enrique Gomez Jr.

    I can see Option 2 being possible if the Suns go get a star player like David West to show Steve Nash that they want a ring just like he does .

  • Roger

    Nash decides his own destiny, not the Suns.

    Option 2A. Nash signs 2yr extension to get traded.

  • Steve

    “conference finalists that tear down and launch a ‘massive rebuilding project’ take an average of a decade to get back to that level”

    This may be true… but the Suns aren’t a conference finals team. We missed the playoffs by quite a bit. We need to stop living in the past. I especially don’t understand how Babby can bring up the conference finals reference when he had NOTHING to do with that team.

    Option 1. Team reformation. Admit that “trying to win championships” is pointless if you don’t play any defense. Admit that traditional offenses are “traditional” because they work, and they win. Admit that Nash is a one-of-a-kind talent whose game is insanely fun to watch, but ultimately does not produce. Admit that Nash is part of the problem here in Phoenix, if it really is our goal to win championships.

    Option 2. Keep butts in the seats while we suck.

    Option 3. Not a terrible option either, but since we have no shot this year, I don’t see why we shouldn’t admit the inevitable sooner rather than later.

    I think options 2 and 3 are the worse options from a basketball perspective (thinking future, not present), but they’re easier for management since they’ll receive less heat for them in the short term. Option 1 makes the most sense, in my opinion, from a basketball perspective. We have seen Nash for nearly a decade in the Valley. He hasn’t been to a Finals. He hasn’t really even been all that close to getting to the Finals (not even a single game 7 in the WCF). Has he been closer than the Clippers? Yes, but is that really what you want to hang your hat on when you brag about being a Suns fan? “At least we’re better than the Clippers.” A decade is plenty of time to prove yourself, and Nash has proven himself to be a supreme talent whose game will not win the ‘ship in the NBA.

    I think the Suns need to realize we have given Nash an awful lot. We don’t owe him anything else. We pay him a lot to play here. We have given him a team for 7 years. We have given him his own offense. We have improved his image and his celebrity more than he could have ever done by himself or on virtually any other team. We MADE Steve Nash who he is, and we gave him virtually all he has. The Suns have been good to Steve Nash, and Steve Nash has been good to the Suns. If you feel like the Suns owe Steve Nash the ability to decide his own fate, I’ll tell you that I think Steve Nash owes me a championship. Since he can’t deliver that to me, I think he owes me more than I owe him. I say get rid of him.

  • auggie5000

    WOW. Good point Steve.

  • Xavier

    U suck Steve!

  • Steve

    Haha, you might disagree with my opinion that #3 is the best option, but what about my comment wasn’t true? I know most Suns fans will disagree with me, but I don’t think the majority of those fans have any good reason besides, “I like Steve Nash, I wouldn’t want to watch the Suns without him, he’s amazing, he’s my favorite player.”

  • Tony

    Steve,

    “[Nash's game] ultimately does not produce. Admit that Nash is part of the problem here in Phoenix, if it really is our goal to win championships.” What an absurd statement. The reason why the Suns did not win a championship was because first A’ntoni refused to develop a bench and because the all-around team defense stunk. Not just Nash. Secondly, do not forget the year Stern stole a championship away from the Suns and gave it to the Spurs when he suspended Amare and Diaw for doing absolutely nothing. The Suns are Spurs were the two best teams in the league that year, and if not for those suspensions, the Suns easily win that series and the Finals.
    After the Suns most recent western conference finalists appearance, Sarver should have resigned Amare and added a big to compete against the Lakers. Instead, as is usual of Sarver, he destroyed a very good team with a great deal of chemistry.
    The fundamental problem facing the Suns future is Robert Sarver. I know there are some dingbats who refuse to blame him because they are his lackys’, but the truth of the matter is that so long as he is the owner, this franchise will not contend again. To trust Sarver to rebuild is completely ridiculous.

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    Steve Nash is an asset and he is as good of a point guard as any in the history of the NBA. Look at his first year back as a Sun, the incredible turn-a-round of the team in just one year.

    If they would have kept Marion, Amare, Joe Johnson and Nash (Q was a so so Player), they might have won a couple of championships. But, as usual, Sarver only offered Joe Johnson enough money to look good knowing that Johnson would turn him down. Then Sarver last year did the same with Amare, offering him just enough to try to look sincere, but, not seriously wanting to sign him.

    I agree, Sarver is the problem. He is not committed like a Mark Cuban. Why would any owner let a young, potentially great G.M. like Steve Kerr walk for a couple of cheap bucks? Then the man sticks his nose right into the 1070 immigration issue and makes at least 70% of his fans upset.

    I would like to see someone like the owner of the Angels get a group together to buy the Suns.

    Regarding Nash; if they can trade him and look to 2012 fine. If they keeep him, I will have no problem watching the best point guard ever finish out his career as a Sun.

  • Steve

    “The reason why the Suns did not win a championship was because first A’ntoni refused to develop a bench and because the all-around team defense stunk. Not just Nash.”

    Our team defense was terrible, you’re right. But defense starts with the PG. Amar’e was equally as bad as Nash, so I’m not putting it ALL on Nash. But Nash has contributed as much or more than any other player to Phoenix’s defensive woes over the past 7 years.

    “Secondly, do not forget the year Stern stole a championship away from the Suns and gave it to the Spurs when he suspended Amare and Diaw for doing absolutely nothing.”

    1. You can’t say we would have won that series if we hadn’t had the suspensions. The fact of the matter is that we BLEW two games earlier in the series, and the Spurs were just a better team. In a best of 7 series, the better team is going to win 95% of the time. I don’t think this series fell into the 5% category (we didn’t even force a game 7, how can ANYONE say we would have won?) We lost game 5 with our players out, then we went out and lost game 6 when we were at full strength. Give me a break. The Suns were not the better team.
    2. THAT WASN’T EVEN THE WCF! We still would have had to win one more round in the West just to get to the Finals, and that round was against our other arch-nemesis we could never defeat (and would not have beaten that year either, most likely, if we were better than the Spurs, which we weren’t).
    3. They enforced the rule correctly. Does the rule suck? Yes. But they enforced it correctly. It isn’t Stern’s fault the SUNS broke the rules (btw, I think player suspensions in those instances are Stu Jackson’s call anyways). Suns fans are cry babies for their reaction to this mess. It royally sucked, but technically, the NBA handled it correctly.

    “After the Suns most recent western conference finalists appearance, Sarver should have resigned Amare and added a big to compete against the Lakers.”

    1. What big? Was ANYONE available? I don’t remember any bigs moving last year whatsoever.
    2. Amare didn’t want to be in PHX, but just for the heck of it, let’s say he did want to stay. It would have taken a max deal (let’s just say $20M per to keep it even). With the Suns already stretching the cap, where were they going to get the money for the big that wasn’t really available?

    “Steve Nash is an asset and he is as good of a point guard as any in the history of the NBA.”

    Not a single non-Suns/non-Nash-homer fan will agree with you on that. Cousy, Magic, Thomas, Stockton, Kidd (and probably a couple other obvious ones I’m forgetting) are EASILY better than Nash. I would rate Nash as the second or third best PG in Suns history (depending on if you’re looking at career achievements or peak play). How can he be the best PG in league history if he’s not even top 2 in his own team’s history? Nash might be top 10 all time, but he’s not anywhere near 1.

  • GoSuns

    Um steve, last off season does Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, or Tyson Chandler ring a bell? Regardless you’re right because we didnt have the money, But I don’t believe steve nash is part of the problem, yes its not good usually if youre star is not a great defender but as long as the team buys into playing defense that is what really counts jkidd is know where near where he used to be in terms of speed but his team buys into defense and hes always been a great defender but also gets the help hes needs, on top of that a triangle offense (Bulls and lakers) is not a traditional offense but one Jackson implemented, neither is the heat without a true pg, just because its un-orthodox doesnt mean the nash offense cant win we just need the right pieces that give evrything they have on both sides of the ball, unless we get a tremendous amount back for nash he should stay

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    I’m here to offer covering fire for Steve.

    First, even though I’m sick of it, I’ll talk a little bit about Amare.
    Sun Tzu had no intentions of remaining a Phoenix Sun. Some, (including a couple of our VoTS writers), believe that if we gave him the max, he would have signed. He had no plans to return to the valley. None.

    Again, I’ll play along like Steve did. Lets say he did sign. Lets move on to some of the names GoSuns tossed out there.

    Bosh, Wade, (and James) had already agreed to go to Miami well before the free agent period began. Lets not get into how that’s not tampering. Anyway…

    You would want Carlos Boozer on the same front line as Amare Stoudemire? Okay lets not talk about Steve Nash being a horrible on-ball defender. Lets talk about that duo guarding the rim down low and grabbing rebounds / challenging shots. Oh the horror. The HUMANITY OF IT ALL! Teams would have feasted on us all year. Far worse than what actually happened this year.

    Tyson Chandler – not even bothering with that because I’m trying to get to your Jason Kidd shout-out.

    I know. In the fiery pits of hell I am about to be tossed, but you know what? If Amare Stoudemire were still here? I’d take J Kidd over Steve Nash. Today.

    Yes. I freakin said it and I’m not sorry and, (as a sun), I love Nash 20 times more than Kidd.

    Truth is, Kidd’s evolution as a player at this point in his career would be devastating in a Suns system with Sun Tzu assuming full control of the team as it’s focal point like Dirk does for Dallas, and Gentry could probably build his team around that without having to beg those upstairs for needle-point specific players needed to run the offense the way Steve Nash wants to – has to run it.

    Kidd’s overall defense is vastly superior. Even when he has an idea that he might be beat, he knows to send that person who is about to beat him into the TEETH of the defense meaning, the strength of it.

    When the shot goes up, it’s a guarantee that we will have far better rebound position because Kidd will get in there and box out and grab rebounds and still be able to ignite the break. He reads passing lanes better. He draws fouls better. He bombs away from three now.

    Nash, at the point, is 50 times more sexy. Kidd, at the point, gives your teams many more ways to win.

    Alright so as gasoline is tossed over my house I’ll get to this whole Steve Nash thing. Some have been on both sides of the fence. Some have recently changed but I have been begging for Nash to be moved long before just about anybody.

    Again, it’s not because I don’t love him. He’s in my top 3 all time. Right behind KJ, and just ahead of Barkley.

    Truth is, he IS the problem. You guys have to deal with it. Steve Nash is the problem, not the solution. It’s not his fault either. We used to have the proper players needed to challenge for championships in a Steve Nash driven offense. We don’t anymore and we can’t afford the ones who currently could run it right now.

    Steve is right. We’ve paid him a ton of dough, and we don’t owe him anything else. If anything, we owe it to him to allow him to challenge for a title on a team that can.
    Personally, I’d be more upset if he isn’t winning a title in Miami next season. That team is perfect for him. The situation here is not Steve Nash friendly in terms of ring-chasing.

    We should get every phoenix-hot cent we can for Nash ASAP. As soon as we can negotiate something. We should gather up draft picks for ’12, and snatch 2 or 3 potential studs and hope that at least two of them become stars.

    That should be the plan, and if you haven’t heard. This next draft? Beast mode players projected to be there all day, even into the deep half of the first round.

  • Evan

    Can we actually get anything of value for Nash? I would love to see Nash go to a contender and win a championship but all of the contenders either already have an elite point guard (Boston, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Dallas) or have nothing of value to give us (miami) The Lakers would be interesting because we might get some real value but we will never trade him with in the division, I think we trade him to Orlando for Nelson and a couple draft picks. Then he will have fun throwing lobs to supper man, or kicking it out to wide open 3 pointers. Probably wont win a championship though.

  • Drew

    Honestly, Steve’s comments are quite flawed. Regarding the 06 season, momentum in a playoff series is crucial. I don’t see how the Spurs were definitely better that series. The Suns played Game 5 at home without their 2nd and 4th best players, and I believe lost by 3 points. Under Steve’s point, shouldn’t the Spurs have beaten a depleted Suns team by far more even on the road if they were definitely better? Yes, that series didn’t go to 7, but one can argue that if the Sons lose by 3 without 2 of their most important players, they would have won Game 5 leading to a 7 game series with Game 7 at home. I mean, you seem to be looking at this from the Spurs viewpoint by stating the Suns didn’t win Game 6, which is fine. But the Suns viewpoint is that they only lost Game 5 by 3 without 2 of their best players.

  • Steve

    Maybe I’m not completely up to date on the rules of basketball, but I’m pretty sure losing by two and losing by 50 count the same in a playoff series. I always thought a loss was a loss no matter how great or how small, but I’ll have to double-check on that one.

    Also, by your reasoning, the Suns should have won game 6. The depleted Spurs beat a more depleted Suns team away from their home court in game 5. The depleted Spurs then beat a full-strength Suns team on the Suns’ home court. If the Spurs can win away when they’re stronger, the Suns should be able to win away when they’re stronger… but they didn’t. They got manhandled in the second half of game 6. The Suns were not the better team. I don’t know why anyone would argue against that. I’m sure that if you asked basketball fans outside of AZ, over 80% of them would say the Spurs were definitely the better team with or without the suspensions.

    The Suns blew game 5, in case no one remembered. We were up by double-digits late in the third, if I remeber correctly, and we were up by multiple possessions in the last half of the fourth quarter. I don’t know how you can make excuses for that. The Suns also blew game 6, as I noted above. Down 51-53 at halftime, then they got destroyed in the third.

    Btw, I’m surprised no one caught my error about Dallas earlier. For how anxious everyone seems to be to reply to my “incorrect” statements, no one noticed I said we would have faced Dallas in the WCF. 2007 was the GSW year. Utah made it to the WCF.

    I agree with everyone that 2007 sucked. We were closer than we had been since 1995, but just like ’95, we didn’t deserve it, and that’s the hardest part for me to admit as a fan. I always want to believe my team is the best team, but in the case of the Suns, I don’t think it has ever been true.

  • thomas

    steve:

    I totally disagree with you about your evaluation of steve nash. Our “team defense” sucked, definitely, and true, nash contributed to our defensive woes. The fault, however, really should not be on him. Plenty of PGs in the league are not defensive stoppers, even if they are, the NBA rules today simply makes it too easy for a PG to score. Take rondo, who is perhaps the best defender at the PG position in the league, and derrick rose burned him time and time again 2 years ago in the epic bulls-celtics series. Tony parker would’ve had a much worse reputation as a bad defender, except he had tim duncan to cover for him. The suns decided to get steve nash, pair him with the defensive liability that is amare, trade away assets for nothing, and added shooters after shooters when the obvious thing to do would be to add wing and paint defensive talent. Look at how robin lopez made us a top 10 defense team 2 years ago after the allstar break once he was given the starting job. The fact is, steve nash did his job as the offensive orchestrator and ball-handler. The organization failed him by making silly decisions and bringing in players who do not complement his skill sets. It is a shame that steve nash will go on to be remembered as a monumental defensive liability, when the reality is that he is probably slightly below average. Guys like jameer nelson and tony parker are just more fortunate to have a big that erases their mistakes while steve nash had amare and channing frye…

    Regarding steve nash’s historical PG ranking, I dont believe he is top 5 but i do believe that he is the PUREST PG ever, hear me out:

    Steve nash is the best shooter ever. Can we entertain this statement? his shooting percentages speak for themselves, you combine that with the difficulty with most shots he takes and i think we can make a pretty good case. For the sake of eliminating debates, let’s just say he is the best shooting PG ever, no arguments right? Now look at his FG attempts per game, PPG, and the fact that he led the league in assists for more seasons than any other PG did, or that he led the league in assists LAST YEAR with supposed scorers in vince carter, channing frye, hakim warrick, and jared dudley. I think it is pretty safe to say that steve nash orchestrated the suns offense as beautifully as any of us could have imagined. Now, let’s go back to the word “pure”, what is a pure PG? ideally someone who passes first, takes good shots when he is left open, and makes teammates better. The best shooting PG in the history of the game leading the league in assists passing to marcin gortat???? I honestly can’t think of another elite PG who had so little to work with yet did so much. So yes, I think in terms of how “pure” a PG is, no one rivals steve nash. How much that is worth is debatable, but i sincerely hope that eventually people will realize this fact and give steve nash his due credit.

    In my mind, magic johnson is the best PG of all time, john stockton is the all time leader in assists, isiah thomas was the ultimate prototype, but steve nash? he is the purest PG of all time. I guess that would be what i can tell my kids years from now, that “i watched, rooted for, and was heartbroken when the purest PG of all time failed to win a ring in phoenis”

  • Steve

    Sorry, I meant Spurs’ home court in game 6. Forgive the mix-up.

    And thanks for the reminder of the bigs that were available. As Rich noted, Bosh was already gone. I wouldn’t have wanted Boozer. I did, however, really want us to have a go at Tyson Chandler. I’m not sure we even tried. But looking back on the way things turned out, I’m ok with it because I would much rather have Gortat than Chandler, and I don’t think having both is really an option.

  • Drew

    Lol Steve, rules of baketball? Look, I brought up the 3 pt loss for 1 reason- to counter your argument that the Spurs team was “definitely” better, which I believe is flawed since then why didn’t they beat a Suns team without 2 of their top 4 players by more than 1 FG? I believe the Suns and Spurs in 2007 were 2 of the most evenly matched teams that were headed for a classic game 7. Also, regarding the Spurs being depleted in Game 6- please tell me whether Ginobli, Duncan, or Parker played that game? I have a sneaking suspicion that you are actually a Spurs fan, but whatever.

  • Drew

    Wow, just realized, Steve “forgot” that the Suns lost game 1 due to Nash’s bloody nose for which he had to miss many crucial minutes. Wow, selective memory for the win. Congrats for trolling me, Spurs fan. And goodbye.

  • Drew

    Also, Spurs fan Steve, nice try at comparing Game 5 to Game 6. Sure, the fact that the Suns were facing an elimination game on the road did not affect their play at all in Game 6, right? And of course, if they had won Game 5 if there were no suspensions, they would have still faced an elimination game on the road—wait, no, they wouldn’t. But anyway, it was a creative troll, so congrats.

  • Steve

    Drew, you’re reaching, and your only arguments are hypothetical statements.

    “We would have won game 1 if Nash hadn’t busted his nose.” I could be wrong about this, but I think we lost that game by more than one FG, and Nash ended up missing a grand total of about a minute. It’s a stretch to think we would have won that for sure if Nash was in there. Not just a stretch, actually… it doesn’t matter because it didn’t happen.

    My point about a win is a win, a loss is a loss is only to say that the Suns had just as much of an opportunity to win game 5 in ’07 as the Spurs. We actually SHOULD have won and WOULD have won if we hadn’t blown our late lead, but we DID blow it and we DID lose. Facts are facts. The Suns lost a conetentious game AT HOME when they were up the entire game until the point where it actually matters, the final buzzer. And either way, it doesn’t matter that we were without players… OUR PLAYERS GOT THEMSELVES SUSPENDED. It’s OUR FAULT we didn’t have Amare and Diaw (as if that would have made a difference anyways). It isn’t the Spurs’ fault. It isn’t even Robert Horry’s fault. Robert Horry is a worthless piece of crap, but he didn’t make Amare and Diaw break the rules. He didn’t.

    You can talk as much as you want about what could have been and what should have been, but it’s pointless. What happened happened, and to say it could have happened any other way is purely conjecture.

    In a best of 7 series, there are NO excuses for losing. Had we not given away games 1 or 3, we wouldn’t have been in the position we were in to get the suspensions for game 5. ANY way you look at it, it is our own fault we lost. No one else’s. Stu Jackson, David Stern, Robert Horry, Tony Parker’s face… whatever excuse you want to hold on to, none of them matter. The Suns lost FOUR games out of six. It wasn’t just the ONE game from the suspensions, or even TWO if you count the bloodied nose game. They lost TWO other games on their own.

    And PS, why would a Spurs fan be trolling a Suns blog at the slowest time of the year during the middle of what is going to be a season-threatening lockout, especially when the Spurs are still awesome and the Suns are completely irrelevant? And why would that same Spurs fan use the same name and type with the same “voice” as the “Steve” that has been frequenting this site for over a year now, posting comments on nearly every thread that is started? Give me a break, dude.

    @thomas

    You bring up some really good points. I totally agree that Nash is the best shooting PG this game has ever seen, and I would probably rank him #3 or #4 all time for any position (I would consider putting Miller, Allen, and Kerr ahead of him, but they’re all toss-ups for who deserves to be #1, Stockton was a great shooter too, but not quite on their level).

    As far as pure PG, I think it depends on what you call “pure.” In my opinion, “pure” would be more along the lines of a combination of Jason Kidd and John Stockton because of their emphasis on defense and team play not reliant on PG dribble penetration (Nash’s offense relies too much on him to be considered a truly TEAM effort, in my opinion). But that’s debatable. I get what you’re saying, and instead of the word “pure,” I would use “sexy,” “dramatic,” “exciting,” or something along those lines. I love watching Nash play. He’s got an amazing talent that is extremely unique in this day. So, I agree that regardless of whether or not he’s the “best” PG, he deserves a ton of credit for what he has done, because he plays the position like no one else in his era.

  • dddaddydd

    Stever Nash cannot win a championship because (1) he can’t stop his face from bleeding and (2) his teammates love him too much to stay on the bench when he’s driven into the scorers’ table with a cheap shot.

  • Roger

    Lots of passion in people’s responses, I love it! Send some to Suns FO, please, they need some of this passion believe me. They ought to read what Suns fans are all about. Thank you MS for triggering the emotions, I thought my summer was going to be boring!

  • Mel.

    “Why would any owner let a young, potentially great G.M. like Steve Kerr walk for a couple of cheap bucks?”

    . . .

  • Chris

    Steve is right…..If anybody owes anybody anything its nash owing us a SHIP! I really think when shaq(he was in great shape) was here and Duncan hit that amazing 3 pointer, then ginobli drove on bell to win it in OT was our chance to win a Championship. If you watched closely Nash always seemed to disapear in the late stages of those playoff games(fatigue) Amare really took the pressure off of Nash with his ability to create his own shot down the stretch. So all im saying is Nash has had more than enough chances to get it done(hes my fav player but enough with all of these bias suns fans)

  • thomas

    @steve

    I guess people have different definitions of what it means to be a pure PG. I would argue that nash is a better shooter than any of the three guys you mentioned however. In my mind, only larry bird can claim he is a better shooter than nash, reggie averaged a lesser percentage from 3pt than nash, and that’s his forte, nash destroys him in other areas. Kerr was a catch-and-shoot player, which really isnt a good indicator of how good a players is at shooting because let’s face it, most of us here can hit open 3′s assuming we played in school. Ray is really a matter of personal opinion and i just happen to believe that overall numbers trump career milestones since milestones really are products of system, longevity, and whether or not the person was given the opportunity to reach for them.

    @Chris

    For starters, shaq was never in great shape, let’s just get that out there first. How do i know? because if he was, the suns would not have gotten him for an expiring contract. Even if you think he got his ass in shape during the off-season that year, amare’s injury after the all-star break the following year was to blame for the suns not enjoying a shot in the post-season. Nash was the only constant during that 2 year span when shaq was going in and out of shape and amare needing surgery. I am not going to debate with you about whether or not nash disappears from time to time, i am sure we can find plenty of examples supporting both sides of the argument. I will say, however, that it would be completely unfair to say that nash owes us anything. Here’s the thing, nash came to phoenix and wasnt expected to be an MVP, he wasnt paid like an MVP, and when he exceeded all expectations and made the suns a serious contender, ppl forgot all about that. In today’s NBA where plenty of stars get max dollars only to stop trying, nash kept himself in prime shape and exceeded the value of his contract by all accounts, to say he owes us anything more is simply untrue. Now, turn the question around, and ask yourself, does the suns organization owe steve nash anything? Maybe you dont think so, all i will say is that we let joe johnson go for nothing, traded away what could’ve been luol deng or andre iguodala, traded away 3 first round picks to give away kurt thomas, and traded away rondo, rudy fernandez, and another first rounder to eventually come away with nothing… maybe all that could be forgiven, but what about spending 80+ million on roles players when amare asked for 20 more? If cleveland had done all of the above and lebron failed to win a ring, i dont think anyone would blame lebron for leaving cleveland and most of us would probably in fact say that the cavs owe lebron something for robbing him of a team that can contend in his prime.

    i am not saying steve nash is lebron, but i will point out that the competition during the sun’s peak werent half as difficult as the competition today, the CAVALIERS made the finals for crying out loud! Our toughest opponent would be the mavs this year without tyson chandler… So yes, steve nash did not win us a ring, but no, he does not owe us anything, and maybe, just maybe, the suns management owe him an apology for making some of the most monumental head-scratching mistakes in sports history.

  • Steve

    @thomas

    Good points, all. I’ll present why I MIGHT (I say might becuase I really think they’re all toss-ups) rank a few guys ahead of Nash.

    1. Kerr- If I had to pick one guy in history to sit in a gym to put on a shooting clinic, he would be the guy. I’ve never seen anyone who can shoot in an open gym like Kerr. Seriously, give him 100 3′s, he’ll hit at least 70 of them every time. He’s as pure as pure can be. Your point about himbeing strictly spot up is totally valid though, and I can see why that might be an issue to some when looking at great shooters.

    2. Ray Allen – Early on in his career, he was a great shooter still, but I considered him to be a little more of a chucker than he is now. Now he is a calculated killer. He consistently has to take the bailout threes at the end of the shot clock in the Celtics’ grinding offense, and he hits them at a higher rate than I think any player in the NBA can. Body of work comes into it a lot with Ray Allen, you’re right, but his body of work is more impressive than any other shooter that has ever played the game other than the guy I rank first, imo.

    3. Stockton – Led the league in TSP three times, over 50% for his career from the field, led the league in EFGP once. I know he wasn’t the 3P shooter that any of these other guys are, but I’m not sure I’d pick anyone in the mid-range over Stockton.

    4. Bird was a great call by yourself. Consistently at the top of the league in 3s, FTs, FGs, whatever type of shooting stat you can think of. We all know what Larry Legend did, but FYI, if you look at the advanced stats, his TSP and EFGP aren’t really all that impressive (until you consider the fact that, like Allen and Miller, he was the one taking all the difficult shots on his team).

    5. The guy I would give the crown to be a mile is Reggie Miller. Highest TSP of any true shooter in history. Top 5 in 3pM in virtually every year he played. Led the league in FT% five times. I wouldn’t want ANY other guy in history taking a last second three. That’s really what it comes down to for me. If I had to make one three, who would I have shoot it? For me, it would be Miller. His percentages are comparable to Nash’s, yet virtually every three he took was highly contested/out of rhythm/low shot clock/what have you.

    Nash gets to pick and choose his shots (like Stockton) because he has the ball 90% of the time. He also benefits from playing in a style of offense that is well-suited for open looks. The Suns shoot early and often. They don’t often run the risk of having to jack up a last-second prayer. Well over half of the threes I can remember Nash making come in two different scenarios:

    1. Nash pops off the dribble on his way up the court.
    2. Nash pops off the dribble when the hedge is late and his man goes under the screen.

    Nash’s 3′s are generally wide open. Granted, he still has to make them, but he doesn’t take the same type of shots that Miller or Allen take. That’s not to take away from Nash’s achievements, but rather just to magnify the achievements of guys who take what I believe are much more difficult shots and still drain them on a regular basis.

    Man, every time I start typing a comment, I tell myself I’m going to keep it short and simple… never turns out that way.

  • steve

    Fyi, just saw a recent ranking of the 75 best shooters of all time. Nash and Miller were the top 2, with Miller coming out on top. Great shooters indeed.

  • Sunny

    Just popping in here.

    I’d like to see Nash go to the Grizzlies personally. They have assets to offer in return and will probably be a championship contender with Nash on board.

    How would you guys feel about getting Conley/Mayo?

  • Joe from Charlotte

    What if we do have a deal in place to trade Nash? There’s no way we were going to trade him knowing it could be a year before basketball resumes. Enough time to make fans not care about Suns basketball since Nash won’t be there.

    I would die if this were true and maybe we were lucky to dupe the Wolves into trading Williams for a year of Nash. One can dream