Stein: Suns want to re-sign Steve Nash instead of trading him


Marc Stein’s report that Robert Sarver doesn’t want to trade Suns star Steve Nash but instead hopes to re-sign him for at least two more seasons is not exactly breaking news.

After all, management has repeated that Nash can stay as long as he wants every time this topic gets brought up (which happens quite often) and Nash has always insisted he will not demand a trade every time he’s asked (a lot as well).

Yet it’s noteworthy nonetheless two weeks before a trade deadline in which it would make sense for the Suns to at least consider shopping Nash with the playoffs likely a long shot.

Stein lays out the current Nash scenario facing the Suns:

Sarver, though, is apparently determined to try to convince Nash to retire in the desert. The thinking there, sources say, is that the Suns believe they’d have a better core going forward with a re-upped Nash, center Marcin Gortat, cap space and a top pick in the well-regarded 2012 draft than with the sort of assets they could bring back now in a deadline deal for a 38-year-old point guard who, even as he continues to play at an All-Star level, is just a few months away from free agency.

The risk there, of course, is that keeping Nash beyond the trade deadline exposes the Suns to the same risks Orlando faces if it hangs onto Howard, creating the very real possibility that Nash could leave Phoenix without compensation. In that scenario, though, it’s believed that Sarver would prefer to announce to the world afterward that the Suns tried everything they could to keep Nash but ultimately couldn’t stop him from signing elsewhere — and then start to try to rebuild with the resultant cap space — as opposed to settling for a so-so trade in the next two weeks.

This also jibes with the Suns’ stated desire to avoid a long rebuilding project due to how long it takes most teams to return to contention after they decide to blow things up and start from square one, unless they luck into a franchise star.

As dreary as things seem today, adding a top-10 pick in a loaded draft and a decent free agent to this Nash-Gortat-Dudley-Morris-Frye core sounds like a playoff team, assuming Nash continues at this level. In any case, Nash is likely the best free agent who would be amenable to signing in Phoenix.

On the flip side, not trading Nash would open the Suns up to a scenario through which they could lose a pair of cornerstone players for nothing within a two-year stretch (although Amare isn’t exactly playing like a franchise cornerstone these days). At that point the Suns’ roster would lack both impact talent (aside from Gortat) and quality players on rookie contracts (save for Morris), and they’d be starting from scratch without whatever piece could be acquired for Nash as well as the resultant improvement in this year’s lottery pick.

Furthermore, Stein heard a few voices “cautioning that the Suns are listening to Nash pitches more than they’re letting on” but he added that the “overwhelming majority of insiders” surveyed on the topic don’t expect Two Time to need a new zip code anytime soon.

Stein cited the RealGM.com report that Orlando would like to acquire Nash to pair with Howard, but after playing around with the trade machine I can’t think of any combination that would make that much sense being that their only decent asset, Ryan Anderson, is set to become a restricted free agent and you’d likely have to take on Jameer Nelson’s $8.6 mil player option for next season. Sure, Nash would fit perfectly in Orlando with Howard and their shooters, but they already traded away their best asset to make a Nash trade (Gortat) last winter.

That’s why if there is any movement on the Nash front I expect it to come from the other team Stein reports interest from.

“Portland,” says one source close to the situation, “has been interested in Nash for a while.”

The Blazers are the one team that I think could have the motive and assets to make a play for Nash, assuming the Suns ever change their stance of course.

Their offer would begin with Ray Felton, who would represent a $7.56 million expiring contract. He would hold down the fort at point guard for the rest of the season and be given a tryout of sorts considering his success in this system in New York.

If the Blazers were to add pending restricted free agent Nicolas Batum to the package then it would become something to seriously consider, although Chris Broussard called the Frenchman “virtually untouchable.” Portland could also build an offer around Wesley Matthews and dangle Nolan Smith and/or picks to entice Phoenix.

Because of Felton’s contract, the Blazers have the ability to fashion a deal that gives Phoenix quality youth without adding future salary commitments, which should be the goal of any Nash trade. Portland began the night in eighth but sits just 2 1/2 games out of fourth. The Blazers have been after Nash for years and could feel he’s the missing piece for a long playoff run.

My contention all along has been that the Suns need to explore their options, see if any trade could substantially improve their future and at that point have a conversation with Nash to see if such a move would be in both their best interests.

As we are seeing with the Colts and Peyton Manning, it’s not easy saying goodbye to a legend and it’s understandable for the Suns to think they could compete with Nash back, a top-10 pick and a legit free agent. Although the specifics are different, if there ends up being a divorce between the Suns and Nash I could see it playing out similarly to the Manning fiasco in that neither side wants to be held responsible for breaking up what was such a successful partnership.

But if the Suns get their wish, according to Stein’s sources, that’s a conversation they will never need to have being that Phoenix’s long-term plans still include Nash.

Tags: Nash Trade Rumors Steve Nash

  • Tony

    It’s no surprise Sarver wants Nash to stay as he’s the only thing making the Suns watchable and even with attendance figures down, it would be an utter ghost town if the Three Stooges let Nash get away. In particular, since they won’t be signing a star player this off-season, retaining Nash makes it especially important for Sarver to try and milk money out of the few remaining Suns fans.

  • JZ

    ‘ey, I forget. How did the Jazz handle Stockton when he got old and still hadn’t won a championship? Did the media and fans tried to pressure Utah’s FO to FREE STOCKTON and send him to a contender as much as they’re pressuring the Sun’s FO now? Wonder if Steve will do the same as Stockton and fight for his team until he can’t fight no more.

  • steve

    Blah Blah Blah three stooges Blah Blah Blah

    Please, stop posting your crap and start being a reasonable human being. It’s seriously tired stuff.

    This is definitely a tough call. How do you let a legend walk. If I had to guess, I’d say the FO already knows exactly how this thing is going to unfold, but they’re just waiting until the right time to let it be known. My guess is that Nash is signing with the suns.

  • Tony

    Blah Blah Blah to you dumbass who thinks Childress is a good shooter. Hey Steve, here’s a simple solution even someone of your limited intelligence can probably understand; if my posts bother you, ignore them!

    By the way, what evidence do you have that the FO knows exactly how the Nash situation will end up?? There you go again, claiming your speculation is fact. What an arrogant duche you must be, unless you work for Sarver and have some insider information……?

  • Scott

    Steve’s not going anywhere, unless he chooses to do so. The Suns will make him an offer this summer, and hopefully he’ll accept it.

    He’s making about $12 million a year right now. I think the Suns will offer him the same amount, but on a two year contract.

    Now, if Howard stays in Orlando and D-Will stays in NJ, this whole FA fracas of 2012 will probably turn out to be a tempest in a teacup. Just more hubbub generated by the sports media to sell ads.

  • PennyAnd1

    Having Steve retire as a Sun should be far more of a value than for a trade. Just like when Stockton retired as a Jazz. It’s called loyalty & respect. Those who want Steve to go aren’t true Phoenix Suns fans.

    After all the blood, sweat, and tears Steve has given to us all these years, we should live and die with Steve as a Suns, and nothing more.

    To trade Steve is downright a move made by a SCUM. Steve loves Phoenix. For once, a premiere superstar wants to stay in Phoenix giving his all each and every game. Just respect that. It’s not forever. He is a jewel and a sight to behold. The guy just continue to amaze people even at the age of 38!!

  • steve

    I didn’t realize I claimed it was a fact that the FO knows what they’re going to do. *looks back on my post*

    Oh, that’s right, I said “If I had to guess.” *facepalm*

    I’m growing more certain you’re intentionally making a fool of yourself because this is the internet.

  • GoSuns

    Kinda adding to what Penny said, @Tony what do you mean few remaining suns fans, this is the problem Steve brought up a while back, true fans don’t just disown a team when they’re down, and if we had more true fans maybe that would put more pressure on managment to put not just a fun team on the floor but one that would compete year to year

  • Scott

    I like Nash, but I would trade him in certain scenarios. I don’t expect these scenarios to be available, though.

    I would trade him for Kyrie Irving or Ricky Rubio. They’re not better than he is, but they’re younger, and the Suns are not presently contending, so it’s a good time to re-tool with youth.

    Somewhat separately, I also notice Varejao is now out with his seasonal injury (broken wrist). The Cavs could use Lopez, as he’s better than any of their centers, but they probably don’t want to give up much to get him, and some Cavs fans would rather have their team tank even more, anyway. (And some Suns fans would say, “You want to tank even more? Then get Lopez!”)

    Lopez is on an expiring contract, but would be a RFA for the Cavs, so that’s not a bad situation for them, as they can evaluate him and see if they want to re-sign him. I’d want to offer the Cavs Lopez plus the Suns’ conditional 2nd round pick from the Knicks (which will either be one of the last 5 picks or nothing), in exchange for the Cavs’ 2012 conditional first round pick from Sacramento (can’t be in the top 14), or the 2013 conditional first round pick from Miami (can’t be in top 10).

    Of course, I don’t hate Robin like Gentry seems to. Taking that into account, I could see the Suns trading Lopez to the Cavs for their 2012 2nd round pick … which would not be horrible if it gets turned into something good, like maybe Jae Crowder (if he’s still in the 2nd round at draft time).

    For that matter, if all you can get for Lopez are 2nd round picks, I’d also try asking for the 2013 and 2014 2nd round picks from Orlando.

  • steve

    @Scott

    I (along with every other Suns fan out there) would love to get rid of Lopez. I’ve long wanted the Suns to at least give him the minutes to prove he’s terrible or prove he can play. I don’t think we’ve given him an environment where he can consistently show his true self. I think that the mystery of Robin Lopez seriously lowers his value as a trade chip.

    If I were a GM of another team, Robin Lopez is not the kind of risk I would like to take. He has shown a couple flashes of brilliance here and there, but they’re so few and far between that it’s almost a sure thing Robin is going to be a bust for the next team he suits up for. It’s almost a guaranteed lose-lose situation for any GM because Robin is likely to demand more than a negligible amount of pay, and he is likely to be terrible.

  • Scott

    @steve -

    I agree that Lopez has not been developed by Gentry. I’m not sure what development Gentry does. It’s been said that the other coaches work with the players on various things, but what does it matter if Gentry never actually uses the player in plays?

    I realize I don’t have the most sophisticated eye as to what’s going on in a basketball game, but it seems that Gentry has the starters running according to a plan that mainly predicated on what Nash can do. Consequently, pretty much anyone can play with Nash, but when Nash is not in, the players can’t get much done.

    And the 2nd unit … so far as I can see, it has NO plan, other than give the ball to the PG and see if something happens. In most cases, nothing happens. That’s because the Suns don’t have a 2nd unit PG anywhere near as capable as Nash.

    So I put the blame for the failing 2nd unit on Gentry. I think Blanks picked the PG Gentry wanted (Telfair), and Gentry hasn’t been able to get Telfair to run the 2nd unit successfully, because Telfair needs more structure in the offense and Gentry hasn’t provided it.

    Last season, the problem with the 2nd unit was that Gentry wouldn’t put the right mix of talent around Dragic, and then he blamed Dragic for his own shortcoming.

    If someone thinks I have this wrong, please say something about the situation that will give me something else to think about. :)

  • Tony

    @Steve,

    look up what Greg Anthony said about the Suns organization today. I suppose you know more than him about basketball too right, dumbass? Oh that’s right, you think Childress is a good shooter. You probably think Warrick is a good defender too. For all the ass-kissing you do for Sarver, I hope for your sake he’s at least paying you well.

  • steve

    Smh. Oh, tony.

    Nice 3rd quarter comeback the suns put together tonight. Let’s see if they can close out. They’ve also done a fantastic job at keeping love off the boards.