Steve Nash trade analysis after another unsuccessful bargaining day

Posted by on October 5th, 12:42 am

Should the Suns trade Steve Nash?

With the NBA officially wiping out the rest of the preseason on Tuesday and preparing to start canceling games if no deal is reached by Monday, today seems like a perfect time to take a look back at some recent Steve Nash analysis on the ESPN/TrueHoop platform.

ESPN Insider Tom Haberstroh feels the Suns must trade Nash.

He wrote that the Suns “exist in NBA purgatory,” not good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to secure a top lottery pick.

Haberstroh continues:

“To some corners of the Suns community, dealing Nash, their lovable and legendary point guard for the greater part of the past decade, would be an unthinkable act. It could cause a mass exodus out of the US Airways Center. After all, the face of the franchise puts people in their seats and, at the end of the day, that’s what oils the machine.

But let the wreckage in Cleveland and Toronto serve as a warning sign. The Suns will outlive Nash’s stay, just like the Raptors were forced to endure without Chris Bosh, and the Cavaliers without LeBron James. Those two franchises were exposed as woefully unprepared for the inevitable transition, pinning their hopes on the frail backs of Andrea Bargnani and Antawn Jamison, respectively.

And for the Suns, that day will come, and Marcin Gortat isn’t qualified to receive the torch. The sharp organization is the one that balances a short-term focus with a plan for long-term prosperity. Nash may be the short-term answer from a business perspective, but his expiration date is dangerously approaching. Can the Suns accept the sobering reality that Nash, a 37-year-old in the final year of his contract, won’t lead the Suns to their first title?

Well, actually he can. Indirectly. If Nash won’t lead the Suns to hallowed ground, the Suns need to get working on finding their next candidate. And they can use Nash to acquire a bundle of prospects and fruitful assets rather than let him rot on a dried-up roster.”

Haberstroh’s article caused HoopSpeak’s Beckley Mason to pose the question once again: Should Phoenix really trade Steve Nash?

Beckley would pull the trigger on a Nash deal but he would not ask for merely quality young talent because he feels that “amounts to swapping out an older, borderline elite player, for a younger one on a team that still needs to be demolished, not remodeled.”

Therefore, according to Beckley:

“The surest way to completely annihilate any chance that Phoenix stays out of the lottery is, paradoxically, to not trade its best and most beloved player for anything other than expiring contracts or draft picks. But trading Nash for nothing immediately useful probably isn’t so attractive to an owner with an uphill PR battle.

On the other hand, if Phoenix hangs on to Nash for one more season then becomes truly awful, it will have a good opportunity to acquire dirt-cheap young talent and, when he becomes a free agent, allow Nash to find a contender of his choosing.

Losing Nash, then a whole bunch of games, may be the only way for a win-win in Phoenix.”

Although I don’t think the Suns are in nearly as decrepit a spot as Haberstroh and Beckley do, especially if the labor deal ends up favoring Phoenix, I agree with the gist of their argument that the Suns should trade Nash to spark the rebuilding process.

Beckley favors a complete rebuild in which the Suns would ask for only expirings and picks whereas Haberstroh recommends shooting for impact young players.

If I were the GM, I would favor a sort of hybrid of that strategy depending on what gets you the best deals. My top priority would be 2012 picks, but if an impact young player can be had with a reasonable contract I would certainly consider that route as well.

Haberstroh suggests Serge Ibaka and James Harden would be “hot names in the conversation” if the Suns and Thunder talked Nash trade. I would do a deal for Ibaka in a heartbeat, although I doubt OKC would ever dangle him, and Harden would be the kind of impact young scorer who could be a nice piece of a Nash trade.

I have written many times this summer that the Suns’ future direction hinges on what they do with Nash, so let’s all hope for good news on the labor front so the next several months can be filled with more than just chatter on what the Suns should do about Nash, whose contract could expire by the time the owners and players come to terms.

And 1

In Bill Simmons’ amnesty column last week, Suns fans had to love his remark on Portland’s theoretical amnesty choice, Brandon Roy.

“You’re right, it’s gonna be Roy,” Simmons wrote. “This made me sad for about 10 seconds — until I realized that he’ll almost definitely sign with Phoenix and get rejuvenated by their miracle-working training staff … followed by Portland fans rioting for three solid weeks.”

If anyone can rejuvenate B-Roy, it would have to be Aaron Nelson and his crew, right?

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: Lockout · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Steve Nash

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott // Oct 5, 2011 at 2:57 am

    I still don’t see the Suns trading Nash, but they are going to have to do something to get another quality PG.

    I agree with Simmons that the most likely recipient of an amnesty would be Childress – especially if Hill returns to the team – but I think the Suns would rather trade Josh if there are teams with interest. MP’s expiring contract would also be on the block, and depending on the trade, maybe Brooks as well.

    I’d hope that between the trade exceptions (if they are still viable), the amnesty, and players available to trade, the Suns could come up with something worthwhile. While they have a variety of problems to solve, I’d say the most significant to me are starting SG and backup PG.

  • 2 shawn // Oct 6, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I’m so tired of the doom and gloom the suns aren’t that bad. If Nash and Frye hadn’t been out at the same time we could have easily been 8th in the west and that was with the team playing mediocre most the time. Someone tell Frye be the big Guy he is and protect the damn paint instead of floating on the 3 line all game long. Nash is the offense period y would u trade away your offense. Nash is not the problem and unbelievably wants to stay but nobody gives that any value.

  • 3 Steve // Oct 6, 2011 at 8:53 am

    @shawn – And I bet you’re one of the fans that thinks the Cardinals aren’t really that bad.

    Are you really content with 8th seeds and blowouts at the hands of the Lakers/Spurs? I’d rather be in the lottery than be the 7th or 8th seed.

    “Nash is the offense… [why] would [you] trade away your offense?”

    Because Nash is the only player in the league who can run his offense, and he won’t last forever. If he isn’t going to be a Sun in a year (extremely likely), why would we hold onto him? The benefit of holding onto Nash is strictly to Sarver and to the Suns as a team for THIS season. But let’s be honest; Best case scenario for the team, as constructed, would be a 4th or 5th seed and a second round exit. That’s the BEST case, if everything in the world goes right for them. What’s probable is another season out of the playoffs and losing Nash for nothing.

    If I could turn Nash into Ibaka, I would do it faster than you can say “seven seconds or less.”

  • 4 shawn // Oct 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I love the cardinals how did you know???lol

  • 5 sun-arc // Oct 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    We might hold onto Nash so he can retire here too, sentimentally. But, Sarver doesn’t seem too sentimental.

    My brain says to trade him as mentioned. And if so, then I completely agree with a hybrid or best possible option if a young FA can be had. But with OKC, I see no way they’d trade either Ibaka or Harden. I do see a very slight possibility of trading Westbrook for Nash in a “win now” scenario for OKC. That is- if the speculation about their distaste for RW these days is true. And if so, he’d be a really great point guard for us to move forward with. probably the best we could get for Nash, anyway.

    My heart doesn’t want to let him go because he’s my favorite guy to watch in the NBA, and has been since Dallas. But, the best move for the team is probably to bomb this year.

    Even if we acquire Westbrook, we would still bomb because it would throw everything up in the air. Then we’d get a decent draft pick, and also potentially have lots of FA money next summer.

    One more note on the above conversation: I’d love to win a championship, but I’m happy as long as the suns play with a lot of heart and are fun to watch- even, if they got knocked out of the playoffs before the WCF’s. But this last year was not all that fun to watch. So, unless that changes drastically, I’d like to see us bomb for a quick recovery.

  • 6 Jess // Oct 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    This past season was frustrating to say the least. bad plays, missed opportunities and horrible defense. It seemed that the team had no direction, no voice, to call their own and it showed with every game. Each time I watched a game I always had a feeling that they were 1-2 plays away from losing hold to a lead or let a comeback dwindle.

    I strongly think trading Nash and starting fresh is the only way to get into the post-season and have a legitimate shot at the title. The Suns have been trying forever to win a championship through free agency and it’s not working. They should rebuild through the draft and make some moves for getting more 1-2nd round draft picks, INSTEAD of selling them for next to nothing, and be smart about their choices that they pick for their squad.

    But that’s not going to happen. Sarver will probably make some trades, sign some random player and hope it works and sell some more draft picks to met salary.

  • 7 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Oct 9, 2011 at 12:58 am

    So finally all of these NBA writers have caught up to me.

    Hello guys! Welcome! What took you so long?

    The fact that PHX didn’t draft Jordan Hamilton aside, (yes I’m STILL angry about that and don’t get me started on Dragon), the Suns should be drooling at the possibility of what lies ahead in the 2010 draft.

    Though that pick given up for Dragi – no. I’m not going there.

    I’ve heard OKC wants to talk about Nash. I even heard LAL wants to talk about Nash? Shout out to Around the Horn. Those teams want deep playoff runs and are not currently constructed to care about the draft. They’ll want to talk draft picks. I so want to listen.

    Toss in whoever you want to toss in outside of Gortat to get deals done. Swing Frye too. At this point? I’d even swing JMZ to a contender who needs that tough defender with a sweet stroke who’s on the right side of 30.

    If that amnesty clause gets in? Eject J Chil too.

    Erase everybody except the one man who can wield the mythical hammer! Bring in anybody who won’t have a contract after next season. I can watch Zombie Carter and his band of undead misfits guest star on the second season of The Walking Dead for a year. I’m all for that!

    All we need to do is land one stud that can score. We already have a center. Then the rise from the ashes can begin seconds before Carter gets a crossbow arrow through the face.

    You guys do know that’s the only way to kill a zombie…

  • 8 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Oct 9, 2011 at 12:59 am

    2012 draft of course. That’s a typo up there. My proof-reading skills failed me.

  • 9 Danny Max // Nov 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I think there is a huge pool of contenders/teams with a “win now” mentality that would want to enlist the services of Steve Nash:

    1. OKC (trade for Westbrook – good deal for both teams if OKC wants to win now. Westbrook/Durant looks like the new Garnett/Marbury dilemma. PHX gets a scorer to build around.)
    2. LAL (could PHX rejuvenate Bynum? Odom+ pieces? I don’t think LA has much to deal and PHX won’t deal him to the same division).
    3. Portland (Nash for Roy? Possibly. Again, it would be PHX taking a gamble on Roy’s health.)
    4. Miami (LeBron DID tweat about wanting to get Nash to come and play in South Beach. I don’t see how this could happen though, Nash will either be reduced to a spot-up shooter, or will just be a second unit floor general, unless Miami who almost won the championship last year would be willing to restructure their entire offense. Plus, who will Miami deal? After putting the Big 3 together last year, are they really going to part with Bosh that quickly? PHX will want more than just a pack of role-players if they give up Nash)
    5. New York (After OKC, I see this as also very likely. Nash fits in New York for obvious reasons and there would be absolutely no learning curve. He will be reunited with Amare and D’Antoni and who better to run the offense? Amare/Melo is perhaps the best offensive forward tandem in the league. Who better to facilitate them than Nash? The only downside to this is I don’t see who New York would trade? Billups/Fields/Douglass + cash considerations? Then New York would have absolutely nobody on their team with the exception of Nash/Amare/Melo. Lastly, New York probably has their eye on landing Paul or D-Will before they would even consider a Nash rental.

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