The Suns’ media relations staff made it very clear that Lance Blanks was not going to discuss the part of the NBA calendar year that occurs in July on Monday, but that hasn’t stopped rumors from sprouting up across the wide expanse of the Internet concerning the Suns’ offseason plans.
The New York Daily News printed a story last weekend quoting an unnamed source as saying the Suns plan to pursue Deron Williams if Steve Nash leaves, which hardly qualifies as news to me. You mean to say if a team loses its All-Star point guard it might be interested in the best player on the market who happens to play said position of need when the franchise has as much money to spend as anyone? Stop the presses.
The question will be whether D-Will gives the Suns the time of day when they inevitably come calling if Nash moves on.
The Daily News reported that the Suns hope to bring Nash back on a two-year, $20 million deal, whereas Nash has previously said he would prefer a three-year contract. The article goes on to say the Suns view the Knicks, Nets and Raptors as their top competitors for Two Time, which is strange because if Nash wants to play for a non-contender he presumably would stay in Phoenix.
However, “if they lose Steve, then they plan to go after Deron, hard,” said a person with knowledge of the Suns’ plans to The Post. “They know he loves golf and they’re going to try to sell him on going out there.”
Again, this is hardly news. If Dwight Howard were an unrestricted free agent the Suns would surely try to sell him on the Valley as well. Every team with cap space and even some without it will go hard after D-Will, particularly those in the market for a point guard.
Aside from the golf and the weather, the Suns can sell him on their lineage of All-Star point guards and the way the point guard has traditionally been the focal point of their attack. Perhaps his old Utah teammate Ronnie Price can put in a good word for the franchise as well.
Signing Williams in his prime would immediately vault the Suns into the playoff picture, particularly if they supplement his signing with a solid draft pick and another good free agent signing or two, which should be possible if Josh Childress is amnestied.
But I find it hard to believe D-Will would seriously consider the Suns over his hometown Dallas Mavericks (with a second star already in place in Dirk) or a Nets team that can pay him the most money. Unless he likes to golf that much, I don’t see what the Suns can offer that the Mavs or Nets cannot.
Still, if this report is true, it’s encouraging to hear the Suns’ front office plans to go all-out to obtain the best available talent on the market.
Nash open to sign-and-trade?
Steve Nash broke KJ’s franchise assist record in early February, and he may have one final assist in him if he’s headed out the door, according to a report by Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld:
“Word has i[t] Nash and the Suns have agreed that if Nash is leaving Phoenix that the franchise would help facilitate a sign and trade deal to [e]nsure Steve gets the maximum dollars for his services and the Suns get something in return for him. Meaning all bets are off on where Nash lands, as cap space and exception money won’t be a huge factor.
The Suns have made it clear they would do a multi-year deal for Nash in the $10 million per year range to [e]nsure Nash stays in Phoenix.
There is still a very real shot that Nash, who has thrived in Phoenix’s environment, chooses to stay; however the Suns will have to make some serious roster improvements to be the front runner.
Nash’s connection with the support and medical staff in Phoenix is a real trump card, as Nash does have spondylolisthesis in his back, and that will factor into his decision. Nash has remained fairly healthy in Phoenix and has played far longer than most thought he would as a result. Nash routinely credits the Phoenix training staff as a key reason why.”
Obviously it would make sense for Nash to be open to a sign-and-trade because it expands his potential destinations beyond teams with cap space (if he does not want to take a below market deal) and allows him to milk more dollars out of a potential new team. That it could help the Suns salvage an asset for their trouble could make Nash feel better about leaving Phoenix if he does just that as well.
In other Nash news, ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chad Ford reported that the Raptors plans on being a “determined suitor” for Nash.
I’m sure he would love to play for his home country team as Raptors fans adore Nash, but I feel like if he bolts it will be for a contender, not a homecoming.
Teletovic is a 6-foot-9, 26-year-old power forward who averaged 21.7 points a game for the third-best team in the Spain ACB league.