When told Dan Patrick that the Phoenix Suns needed to make “an improvement” to retain him back in late March, he also made it known that he would not mind taking his talents to South Beach this summer.
Of course, at this point in the process Nash is basically telling reporters from every city he would not mind playing there, but I always felt Miami would be an intriguing choice if he were to join The King in a chase for a ring.
Although I still feel like Nash, Wade and LeBron would play beautiful basketball together and I fully support Nash chasing a ring if that’s what he wants to do, I just don’t see him riding the coattails of two otherworldly talents as well as a third stud on a defending champion.
Nash’s free agent decision is ultimately going to come down to comfort and familiarity (Phoenix), a city he enjoys (New York for being his offseason home or Toronto for being his home country) or ring chasing.
The Knicks’ cap situation makes them incredibly unlikely (assuming they do bring back Lin on the midlevel) although perhaps they could be psuedo-contenders with Two Time. I don’t see a losing situation like Toronto being a viable option either, at least not at this stage of his career (perhaps when he’s 40 for a swan song run in front of his native fans).
So to me that either leaves the Suns or a title contender.
I would not underrate Phoenix’s chances. From the presence of the training staff to his family to what he means to the franchise and the fact this is “his team,” I would not be surprised one bit if he returns.
But if he leaves, I feel it would be to chase a title. After all, if not for that purpose, why would he go?
It won’t exactly be the same if Nash earns that elusive ring away from the Valley, but there’s a difference to me between legitimately chasing a ring on a team he could be a major part of and jumping on LeBron’s coattails immediately after he gets off the championship-less schneid.
Of course, Nash could not care less about how his legacy is perceived externally, but if he’s going to chase a ring I don’t think it will be with the defending champions.