Steve Nash receives three-year offer from Raptors, Suns chasing many free agents, including Eric Gordon

Posted by on July 1st, 3:48 pm

By their actions thus far on the first day of free agency, the Phoenix Suns seem intent on using their cap space to reload with young talent — but they have yet to shut the door on a certain two-time MVP either.

With around $25 million of cap space (not including cap holds or amnesty possibilities), the Suns possess the financial backing to be a major player in free agency, particularly if Nash departs, and thus they were linked to a long list of players including Eric Gordon, O.J. Mayo, Goran Dragic, Ray Felton, Jamal Crawford, Michael Beasley, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman and Nick Young, along with their own free agents Nash and Robin Lopez.

But before going into more depth on the players the Suns are chasing, it’s important to note that their top priority (at least in terms of scheduling sitdown meetings) was not their former franchise player. The same could not be said of the Toronto Raptors, who have offered Nash a three-year, $36 million contract, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Stein reported that the Raptors are one of four teams (along with the Knicks, Nets and Mavericks) “that pose the greatest danger to the Suns in terms of signing Nash away.” Stein also reported that the Raps were expected to send a “five-deep” contingent to woo Nash once the clock struck midnight ET on Saturday, similar to the convoy of Suns who convinced Two Time to return to Phoenix eight years ago.

It has been thought that the Suns would offer Nash two years and $20 million, a deal that does not seem likely to get it done, especially since Nash has said he wants “to be validated monetarily to an extent.”

Nash has been playing on an undervalued contract throughout his Suns career (he made about $11 mil per year the last eight years), an original contract that seemed outrageous at the time to some in the industry yet ended up being a steal for Phoenix. It’s crazy that eight years later he might net a deal with a greater average salary, perhaps from the same owner who thought he would not hold up on a long-term deal back in 2004.

If the Toronto offer is true, and some NBA reporters are not sure it is, the Suns would almost certainly need to offer a third year to keep Nash and probably offer at least $11 million per if not the same $12 per as the Raptors.

Personally, I don’t feel the Suns would be smart to burn half their cap space on a player who would finish the deal as a 41-year-old. I understand why Nash would be worth that in a market like Toronto, both for basketball reasons and reasons that go beyond the play on the court, but with the Suns set to rebuild tying up so much cap space in an aging legend just doesn’t make sense.

It’s been thought for some time the Suns would want to “save face” by making a very competitive offer even if it ends up falling short, so I do expect them to factor in the Nash sweepstakes before all is said and done. Yet getting into a bidding war with the Raptors does not exactly seem prudent.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Suns have expressed interest in Landry Fields as part of a potential sign-and-trade package for Nash from New York, a team that Stein reports is in Nash’s top two along with the Raptors (he would be “eager” to meet the Mavs if they miss on D-Will as well). The Suns were very interested in Fields before the 2010 draft as they were Iman Shumpert before the 2011 draft, so such a deal would be no surprise to me.

I’ve wanted the Suns to make such a Nash trade for some time, as if losing Two Time is inevitable it would be nice to get a young wing or two in return. Fields struggled a bit last year after a superb rookie campaign, but he would be a nice piece for the Suns.

As for Phoenix’s free-agent targets, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported that stud restricted free agent shooting guard Eric Gordon will meet with the Suns Tuesday in Phoenix.

Gordon is predictably seeking a four-year, $58 million max contract, which is widely expected to be matched by the Hornets. Why New Orleans doesn’t just offer that deal and end all this pomp and circumstance I don’t know, but judging by what Roy Hibbert is doing that must be how business will be handled going forward by stud restricted free agents who don’t get max deals from their own teams.

The Hornets may not want to pay Gordon that much, but I doubt they would risk losing such an important piece of their rebuilding plan and the Chris Paul trade over a few million dollars a year.

Signing Gordon to an offer sheet would tie up the Suns’ cap space for three days during which time they could miss out on other targets. Since Nash ($17.5 million) and Grant Hill ($9.8 mil) have such big cap holds, they would likely need to resolve their situations (or at least Nash’s) before being able to throw a huge offer at Gordon. They could certainly fit both Nash and Gordon under their cap but would likely need to renounce the rest of their free agents, and they would need to sign Nash first to lower that cap hold.

A max contract is probably a bit much for Gordon, but in this case I think it’s worth it. Gordon is just 23 years old and averages 18.2 points per game for his career. He can be that dynamic wing scorer the Suns so dearly lack and an important piece of the rebuilding puzzle.

Head coach Alvin Gentry often gushed about Gordon when the Clippers visited, saying the Suns loved him before the 2008 draft. I’m certain Gentry would be ecstatic about such a signing.

If you are going to overpay, I think it’s better to overpay for a bonafide stud than the kind of role players that traditionally get too much dough, and considering how difficult it is to add impact players this would be the right time to roll the dice.

The Suns reported on Twitter that the team of Babby, Blanks and Gentry are meeting with Michael Beasley today in Los Angeles and will meet with Robin Lopez later in the City of Angels.

Beasley would provide the kind of scoring punch the Suns could use but doesn’t play any semblance of defense and is quite the knucklehead, which seems to go against the kind of player the Suns want for their culture. I would not hate Beasley on a one-year flyer kind of contract, but I would be terrified to guarantee him any kind of long-term money as tantalizing as his potential is.

Babby has said all along that the Suns will match any offer for their restricted free agent Lopez, so the hope would be that nobody pays him the kind of stupid money young 7-footers often get in free agency. I would sign off on something in the $4 million a year range.

The Suns have touched base with Mayo, according to Coro, and I think he could be an ideal signing. Mayo’s role lessened in Memphis in previous seasons, yet there is a reason he was selected third overall. His scoring punch at the off guard spot could be very useful for the Suns, and he could have something to prove on a short-term deal through which he could build his value in Phoenix.

I like the Suns reaching out to Jordan Hill as Lopez insurance. You can never have too many Wildcats on your roster after all.

Chris Kaman does not make a ton of sense to me because he’s not the kind of player the Suns should invest in with Gortat under contract and Lopez such a priority.

Ray Felton could be a nice mentor for Marshall, but I would only sign him if the Suns go into powder-saving mode and bring him on for one year. Same goes for Jamal Crawford.

The Suns have set up visits in Phoenix with Felton and Goran Dragic, according to the team’s Twitter account, but the former Nash heir apparent apparently wants $10 million a year and a starting job. That seems to be a bit too much of an investment for The Dragon, especially with Marshall waiting in the wings.

As I wrote last night, the Suns could go in many directions during this free agency period, so it is good to see them in the middle of so many rumors on the first day of free agency.

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: Free Agency · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns Analysis · Phoenix Suns News · Phoenix Suns Rumors · Steve Nash · Toronto Raptors

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 scalamuth // Jul 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Saw an idea on bright side about bringing Goran here to man the 2 guard spot next to Kendall. Not a bad idea. Kendall gets to start, Goran gets his money and his minutes.

  • 2 . // Jul 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Phoenix meeting with Dragic…Wonder how that conversation would go: ” Goran, sorry we traded you to Houston. We want you back. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you had turned out into a third string point guard warming the bench for Lowry and Flynn. Want to come back to the Suns? We miss you. Love Three Stooges.” MOVE ON!!!

  • 3 Jason A. // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I agree with you Michael, we’re everywhere today. Maybe Babby is better than we think. It’s not hard to see him sell players on coming here, especially former players in his stable.

  • 4 Tony // Jul 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Once again, words don’t count, it’s results which do. Michael, as you yourself just mentioned, Nash has had undervalued contracts since coming to the Suns. For the FO to not offer him a 3rd year would be disgraceful. I’m not suggesting they offer him a 3rd year at $12 million, which apparently Toronto has, but they should offer him somewhere around $8 million for the 3rd year. As far as his age is concerned, how many games in the past three seasons has Nash missed? The guy takes impeccable care of his health and playing in a warmer weather climate with a tremendous training staff should ease fears about his 3rd season.

    As far as the players you’ve mentioned, Gordon is not a max-worthy player. The only reason he’s being offered so much is because of the lack of top free agents available. That’s not to say he’s not worth a whole lot, but 1 6-3 shooting guard with a history of injuries who really doesn’t do much besides score should not garner a max salary. With that being said, if the public perception is that Sarver low-balled Nash, and I have no doubt that you along with Sarver’s bff goober Steve and a few others will try to deflect attention away from it, I would expect a public backlash against the FO, the consequences of which would be more lost revenue from Suns fans, unless they sign Gordon.

    None of those other guys mentioned will be very helpful with the possible exception of Beasley, whom has tremendous potential. However, his success as a Sun is predicated on him being a good teammate and maturing. If he can’t show mental maturity, then he would be another waste. As far as Mayo is concerned, again another undersized shooting guard who really only provides scoring, should not be signed unless it’s for cheap or Nash is resigned and another more moderate quality player could be signed.

  • 5 Mike // Jul 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Do you guys on this site have any inside line on what is actually happening? It seems like all I ever see on here is regurgitated news from writers who actually have inside relationships with team sources.

  • 6 luis // Jul 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    what da suns need is a scorer they currnetly dont have dat on the roster they need a go to scorer n need to get younger they need somebody thats a ble to put up lak 20 ppg at least they dont have one

  • 7 JZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Omar Asik will sign a 25 million/3yr offer sheet from the Rockets. DANG. The guy has similar averages to Rolo and will command an 6-7 million salary annually. Hope Robin is offered 2 million less annually or else Phoenix should just let him go. Good thing Rockets didn’t offer Rolo that amount. I am guessing Phoenix will be able to keep Lopez for at a low amount due to his past back problems. Will see.

  • 8 Lloyd I. Cadle // Jul 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Maybe the Suns can make an offer that N.O. cannot match. Players like that are not always available–especially at age 23. (Either he or Harden next year would be great pieces to build around.)

    Beasley has had behavior issues which would make him very risky. The Phoenix fan base doesn’t seem too patient with that type of player.

  • 9 KeZ // Jul 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Kendall Marshall
    Nick Young
    Michael Beasley
    Markieff Morris(If we cant sign, or trade for a better PF.)
    Marcin Gortat

    I Could live with that starting 5 this year.

  • 10 HankS // Jul 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    I actually think the Suns should sign Nash to a Toronto-like offer. With his conditioning and the Suns’ training stuff, I don’t care if he’s 41 at the end of the deal. He’d groom Marshall, who’d gradually take over. After all, Kendall will only be 23 in those three years’ time!

    On the other hand, signing Dragic right after drafting Marshall would amount to a no-confidence vote for the latter. Yes, the Suns would have a formidable duo at the point guard position, but I don’t like drafting a lottery point guard and then telling him right away, sorry, we don’t think you’re starting material.

  • 11 Scott // Jul 2, 2012 at 12:46 am

    My initial thought when reading the title of this article was, “They should title it instead, ‘Suns Fiddle While Phoenix Burns.’” Because it doesn’t sound to me like the Suns have any idea what they’re doing. They seem to be just running around.

    If the Suns aren’t going to do something creative or clever, they should do something conservative and re-sign Nash to whatever he wants.

    Letting Nash walk and signing Beasley instead … that sounds stupid. And that’s what it looks like to me, from the outside looking in.

    Hopefully they’re working on something more clever than it seems.

  • 12 Scott // Jul 2, 2012 at 12:54 am

    @HankS -

    The Suns could do Goran an indirect “solid” by signing his SG brother, Zoran.

    #signthebrother! :)

  • 13 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 2, 2012 at 12:56 am


    First of all, NO, the Suns should NOT give Nash the sort of money Toronto is offering. The Raptors can offer that sort of cash because with Nash in house, they’re going to make that back in seconds! It’s a good business move for them.

    It is not the same sort of deal for Phoenix. Now sure he has all sorts of ties in the Valley and his worth cannot be questioned but the motives in the TDot and in the Valley are 100% different.

    People are STILL throwing out names like Gordon and Crawford and now NICK YOUNG?!? I’m going to stab somebody.

    Instead, I hope that PHX can land OJ Mayo, because of all of the names being mentioned at the 2 I’ll take him waaaaayyyyyy before anybody else.

    In regards to Dragon, how quickly we all forget how Gentry’s system, (Or D’Antoni’s) works.

    If for some strange ironic and fanbase-angering reason Dragon did come back to the Valley, that would not send any sort of negative message to Marshall. Marshall is the point guard; that’s what he was brought here to do.

    Dragon, on the other hand, would be taken down the the cellar, handed a rugged dusty aincient book by some zombie named Jeevo, instructed to study it, and blow fire on the league.

    That book being the Joe Johnson package.

    Think back, people. Nash and JJ ran together in the starting lineup. Nash as the point and JJ as the ball-handling 2. When Nash went out, (while other starters remained in), JJ played the 1. Dragon would get his 30-40 minutes per game easily and no other point guard is out of picket. Marshall will do what he is supposed to, and Telfair will still captain the bench mob.

    That part of it is set in stone, because that is the system we run. (IF! IF Dragon signs in PHX and I doubt it)

    As far as the S&T with NY goes, if they want Nash bad enough, I would force the Knicks to include Shump in whatever deal is constructed.

    Kaman is going to be a Pacer if they don’t match the Hibbert max offer. He set up that meeting already.

    I really don’t want Beasley in Purp ‘n Orng. But if it’s a cheap 2-year deal, (and we land Mayo as well), I suppose I could stomach it.

  • 14 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 12:56 am


    are you finally seeing the light in how horribly bad the Suns FO really is…? If so, better late than never! Again, not to offer Nash a 3rd year is just disgraceful. You’re absolutely right, signing Beasley makes no sense unless you make sure there are veteran leaders on the team. The guy does have a lot of talent, but he needs a strong-headed coach and only respected veterans, neither of which the Suns will likely have.

    By the way, Michael can we put the Gordon to Phoenix rumors to bed? I mean, even though the Hornets FO has said they will match any offer, including a max offer, if the Hornets were in fact not going to match it, don’t you think they would want to do a sign-and-trade with Gordon so that they would at least get something in return? Now, considering the only legitimate trade asset the Suns have is Gortat, don’t you think the Hornets would get a better deal elsewhere for Gordon?

  • 15 Scott // Jul 2, 2012 at 1:38 am

    @Tony -

    Eh, I think it’s more likely that Kerr is the bad ownership influence, not Sarver.

    As for the earlier discussion over Lin, it’s been reported that the Knicks haven’t even promised him the max. They said, “We’ll have to see what the market thinks of him before we make him an offer.” Which makes it sound like they don’t even want to pay him $6m, even though the owner is loaded with cash and the salary is exempted from the cap.

    That suggests the Knicks are far from sold on Lin, which is realistic. If he’s their top PG next year, and he fails to play up to the brief promise of this last year, then they’re screwed. They ought to be looking for something more secure, which – despite his age – I believe Nash is. Nash is the epitome of savvy veteran, and though he misses a few games each year, when you compare him to Baron Davis, Steph Curry, or even Lin, he’s practically a Stockton-like iron man.

    On another aspect of that trade, as I noted before, NYC fans are far from sold on Fields. A May poll on whether to “take or trash” Fields showed 48% said “Trash him.” Bleacher Report also included Fields on their “Most Disappointing Player from Every Team” list.

    So nearly half the Knicks fan base wants to get rid of Fields.

    Honestly, I don’t believe Fields is THAT bad. BUT … do you really trade Nash for someone like that? A junior player who many would like to see cut from the team? Talk about disrespect.

    Besides, there has to be more dollar value in the trade if the Knicks are going to snag Steve. Steve wants his money. So it’s imperative the Suns ask for Lin, and throw in the others to make up the balance of Steve’s salary. Do the Knicks a favor by including Hill (whom the Knicks want), so the Knicks still have their lower and midlevel exceptions unused.

    Someone get Blanks a guide dog. :p

  • 16 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 2, 2012 at 1:48 am

    It’s not that the Knicks don’t value Lin. They value him a lot especially the revenue he brings in.

    The problem is the length and amount of the deal in relation to another team offering him something. The problem is salary-cap related in 2-3 years time.

    If another team offers him a 4-YR / 32 million dollar deal, for example, and they “back-load” it so it pays out, 5 / 5 / 11 / 11 if the Knicks match that with their other commitments to STAT, Melo and Nash if he goes there, They will be over the new cap and paying a HEFTY premium.

    So the Knicks kind-of have to wait to see what the market ends up being for Lin and in essence, it’s not whether or not the Knicks value Lin. It’ll come down to what other teams see his value as.

    If it’s not 30 + mil then the Knicks will match, but if somebody comes calling with more than that, they may have to let him walk.

    The Nash to NY sign and trade isn’t about disrespect. It’s about accomodation.

    For the sort of numbers Nash seems to be asking, the Knicks, right now, simply can’t offer it to him as a straight up UFA. They would need PHX to sign him to a deal he’d agree to and then trade him to the Suns for a sum that matches Nash’s new contract.

    So, yeah. Fields name has come up. NY seems to be blocking adding Shumpert to that trade but if Lin does get a hefty offer, the Knicks may have to slide him in there.
    Draft picks, cash considerations, all that sort of stuff. Phoenix would be willing to help because they’d get something back instead of watching two-time walk for nothing.

  • 17 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 2, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Trade him to the Knicks rather**

  • 18 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 2, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Here’s what the deal is looking like so far. Call it the first draft. (Via AZCentral)

    New York is willing to part with a package that features Landry Fields, Toney Douglas, $3 million and the non-guaranteed salaries of Dan Gadzuric and Jerome Jordan. Fields is a restricted free agent who could be signed to a deal while Douglas’ contract could be seen as an expiring contract whose salary is more than covered by the cash component. The Suns could waive Gadzuric and Jordan at no cost.

    So if that were to go down, then the Suns get a young player to test out, a bit of cash, and their cap room maintained. It’s not “bad” but I’d love for them to try and flex and get Shumpert in there.

    All of this, of course, only happens if Nash doesn’t go to Toronto

  • 19 Scott // Jul 2, 2012 at 2:11 am

    @Rich -

    You’re talking about the “poison pill” type contract another team can offer Lin. I think it’s doubtful any team will really go so far as to offer that much for such an unproven PG.

    So we wait for Lin to accept a contract?

    I think Nash would wait if he knew there was an effort to try to put something together that he preferred. I don’t believe he’s sold on heading to Canada just to preside over a losing team. He’d like to be part of something competitive, and get paid as well.

    It would be nice if something like this was underway. Of course, if it really was underway, we probably wouldn’t hear about it, at least not till Lin signs and the process is further along.

  • 20 Scott // Jul 2, 2012 at 2:12 am

    @Rich -

    Yeah, I’ve seen that deal. The Knicks want the Suns to take out their garbage? How nice. :p

  • 21 Scott // Jul 2, 2012 at 2:21 am

    The Suns need to say to NY, “We get Lin, Field, and Shumpert, but we agree to take on other contracts needed for the math, and we will add Hill to the deal, plus either Brooks or Telfair if you want them.”

    But no Lin, no deal. Move on.

  • 22 Paul // Jul 2, 2012 at 2:35 am

    What a disaster. Almost surely losing nash. Gordon is good but isn’t gonna carry a team. Dragic? Please. He never consistently hit his potential when we had him before.

    So we’ll be starting a rookie who can’t shoot well or defend the common speedy guards in the NBA, with nash gone, hill gone (can’t see him staying if nash bolts), and a roster of people who only ever looked good because of nash.

    As long as luck doesn’t foil us, we should get a really high draft pick next year.

    Suns are going to be too brutal to watch this season.

  • 23 Ty-Sun // Jul 2, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I can’t see NY adding Lin to the trade package unless Phoenix does something crazy like trading Nash AND Marshall for the NY package. They see Lin as their Marshall, aka “the point guard of the future” and I doubt they would trade him away without at least getting another potential PGOTF in the deal too. I’m NOT proposing this but it make more sense from the NY perspective than simply adding Lin to part of their trade package just for Nash.

  • 24 Scott // Jul 2, 2012 at 8:53 am

    @Ty-Sun -

    Not every team is as oriented on PGs as Phoenix. Some teams just get a PG in to throw the ball to their stars.

  • 25 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 9:26 am


    how in the world is Steve Kerr to blame for the Suns predicament? He’s been gone from the Suns organization for two years. Face reality, there’s one person directly responsible for turning a once elite franchise into one of the bottom dwellers of the league and that’s Sarver!

    The Knicks are not going to let Lin, Shumpert, and Fields go for Nash. Hill isn’t even signed by the Suns so your trade involving him is entirely dependent on him wanting to join the Knicks. Lastly, the only guy who thinks Brooks could be a legit starting pg is not Kerr, but Lance Blanks, you know him right? The guy hired by Sarver…

  • 26 steve // Jul 2, 2012 at 9:46 am

    “how in the world is Steve Kerr to blame for the Suns predicament? He’s been gone from the Suns organization for two years.”

    And how in the world are the Colangelos responsible for the success the Suns have had over the past 8 years? You make it too easy.

    As far as Lin goes, I’d love to have him, the biggest problem would be that I’m not sure how the Suns would be able to utilize both Lin and Marshall (assuming Marshall wasn’t a part of our make-believe deal). I think it’s rather unlikely that NY would part with Lin, seeing as how the fans are turning on both Amare and Melo, and one of them might be shown the way out of town if the season doesn’t start too well for the Knicks. Lin is extremely marketable and likable. I have a feeling they know they are going to need that with the pending fallout between Melo and Stoudemire.

    Anything is possible, but landing Lin would be very unlikely, I think.

  • 27 KeZ // Jul 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Am I the only one who wants Nick Young on our team? 6ft7, athletic, good defender and a nice shooting stroke. And he has that “swag” mentality. We could really use some of that swag to put an end to all those people tellin us that our team is soft.

  • 28 shazam // Jul 2, 2012 at 10:56 am

    some of us screamed and begged the fo to trade nash last year so we could tank for the lottery and get something for the notorious ball hog in return…now we get nothing except the possibility of getting suckered in to a trade exception deal…im telling you..half the contributors here can do a better job than babby

  • 29 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 11:27 am


    wow, you are really making yourself sound like a bigger moron than I originally thought.

    Hmm…let’s see…how might have Colangelo been responsible for the Suns success during the Sarver-era? Maybe it has something to do with drafting Amare, bringing in JJ and Marion, oh and don’t get too excited because you share the same first name, but he also recruited a certain guy by the name of Steve Nash!
    I know you are Sarver’s bff and probably give him a little something extra, but please make it a little more challenging for me to rebut you than this pathetic attempt.


    you’re spot on, although I wouldn’t refer to Nash as a ballhog and I would also argue that excluding some of the notorious morons on VOTS, such as those who call Shaq one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, I’m sure 75% of us would do a better job than the comical Babby. Although to be fair to him, he has to work within the narrow and stingy parameters set by his boss. I’m sure if he worked for an owner committed to winning and not penny-pinching, he probably would be doing a better job.

  • 30 Die Hard Suns Fan // Jul 2, 2012 at 11:46 am

    IM SICK TO MY STOMACH !!! To be a Suns fan for the last 25 years, I’m so frustrated. we get nothing for Amare and now were getting nothing for Nash. 2 Amazing basketball players that Sarver could have paid both. He is such a stupid owner. He has really put our organization in the Dumps. 1. Nash is gone this year for nothing in return 2. Eric Gordon will be matched by N.O. , we get nothing. 3. Goran will not come back to Phoenix, we lose again. 4. Beasley , maybe we waste money on him , we lose again 5. O.J. Mayo there is a slight chance and thats a 50/50 good thing. So yes im still a Die Hard Suns fan for life but i hate the owner and the Front office. oh by the way were going to be bad and for the lottery the next few years is going to be garbage cause all the amazing youngsters came out this year !!! OUT !!!

  • 31 bob brogger // Jul 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I think the Suns should go all out to retain Nash. Think about it… you really want to play AGAINST him? He is going to be great for the next three years and the Suns will absolutley regret losing him to another team. He’s that good, for crying out loud! Just a little improvement in the bigs and they’ll be ion the playoffs.
    C’mon, please.

  • 32 steve // Jul 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm


    Did that really go over your head?

    You said Kerr was absolved of any fault for this mess the Suns are in because he’s been gone for two years already…

    The Suns wen’t to at least two of their WCFs after the Colangelos were well on their way. So, if Kerr is absolved of fault, then how can the Colangelos be acclaimed? They were out of the picture by then…

    I’m not necessarily saying I believe what I’m saying. I’m just trying to point out how pathetically biased and inconsistent you are.

  • 33 Die Hard Suns Fan // Jul 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    @steve @tony , I just want Colangelo BACK !!!

  • 34 KeZ // Jul 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    I for ones really liked Kerr.

  • 35 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    @Steve, Steve, Steve!

    Sometimes you are seriously so frustrating!!!! Again, yes the Colangelos were gone after Sarver purchased the team, but that doesn’t mean the roster they put together went with them! Did Nash, Amare, JJ, and Marion go with them to Toronto? Of course not. They put together an elite team, which Sarver inherited and of which Sarver alone is responsible for the systematic depletion of talent that currently grips this franchise.

    As far as Kerr is concerned, I have said before and I’ll say it again, he made many mistakes, including trying to force the Spurs mentality and culture on a different team. Bringing in Porter was a mistake, along with Shaq and of course the drafting of both Clark and probably Lopez too were both bad decisions by him.

    However, what I give Kerr a ton of credit for is accepting responsibility for his mistakes and learning from them to avoid similar future mistakes. His draft day trade for Dragic was genius and he handled Nash’s extension very well. He also added some nice complementary pieces like Lou and Frye and the trade for J-Rich and Dudley for Diaw and Bell was also a great trade for the Suns. The point is, instead of refusing to take any responsibility for his mistakes, such as your bff Sarver, who to this day hasn’t taken any responsibility, through his early mistakes Kerr established himself as a competent up and coming GM.
    At that point, Sarver arrogantly demanded Kerr and the rest of the FO take a pay-cut which led to his refusl to resign followed by the takeover of Babby and Blanks, both of whom have not been good for this franchise.

    So, with all sincerity, do yourself a favor and accept the truth! The more you defend this FO, the less and less credible you become. There’s a reason why a recent Phoenix poll asking fans which franchise owner they believed would lead their respective franchise’s to a championship level, that Sarver was ranked LAST. Or why last season ESPN ranked the Suns as 28th I believe for future success. Lastly, you don’t need to look any further than to the results. The Suns, or the first time in over two decades, went 2 straight seasons without making the playoffs and the first time in an even longer time frame for the Suns to go three out of four years without making the playoffs. You need talent to be successful and your bff has slowly and efficiently depleted it.

  • 36 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    @Die Hard Suns Fan,

    I do too! But even with the most competent and financially generous owner would have a tough time bringing this team back to an elite status. It’s going to take years to rebuild this team and judging by Sarver’s refusal to accept blame and adjust course, I doubt the Suns will ever become an elite team again while under his control.

  • 37 Ty-Sun // Jul 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Whether you like Nash and his game or not he will eventually start to loose his edge as he gets older. Yes, he takes exceptionally good care of himself but time, wear and tare will eventually catch up with him and there is guarantee that won’t happen next year. Of course he might be able to play at a high level for another 3 years but the odds are against that happening and the odds of him suffering a severe injury rise each year he continues to play. My point is that ANY team that signs Nash is gambling on his future health and productivity.

    If the Suns decide not to try and at least match Toronto’s offer to Nash, he goes there and continues to play at a high level for even two of those three years then everyone will say how stupid the Suns FO was to let him go. But if they DO match that offer, Nash stays with the Suns and then his level of play just continues to drop over the next three seasons then everyone will just say how stupid the Suns FO was to not let him go. No one really knows what will happen so it’s a gamble either way.

    As for the other FAs that the Suns are looking over, Mayo is probably the mostly likely one for the Suns to actually land. Obviously the Suns have no “go-to” guy which hurt them a great deal. Mayo may not really be that kind of player but I think he want’s the chance to prove that he can be the go-to guy on a team so the Suns would be a good fit for him and the Suns could probably get him at a fairly reasonable price.

  • 38 steve // Jul 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    @Tony – So it did go over your head then. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Broussard and Calvisi have conflicting reports out there, but if the 2-year/$12M deal that Calvisi reported the Suns offered to Nash is accurate, then we have seen the last of Steve Nash in a Suns uni. It has been quite a ride, to say the least. Having a world class superstar to watch day in and day out was a pure pleasure.

  • 39 James // Jul 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    These owners can’t even recognize talent when it is right under their nose (Dragic). I have absolutely zero confidence they will be able to put together any sort of decent team in the near future. Therefore, we should do whatever we have to do to keep Nash. Try to improve on the wing somehow and hope for the best. There is no light at the end of the tunnel and no point in messing things up even more than they are. Nash is our best recuiter. Once we lose him, we really have nothing left.

  • 40 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm


    I realize you are probably being your usual condescending self, but if what your point is did “go over my head,” then please elaborate. Now, based on our prior disagreements, I highly doubt you have something substantive to say, but I fail to see what Kerr has to do with the current situation facing the Suns and how that relates to Colangelos leaving Sarver a roster including Nash, Amare, JJ, and Marion….

    To my surprise and in an unusually cognizant moment for you Steve, you are most likely correct that we have seen the last of Nash in a Suns uniform. Why the FO won’t offer Nash the 3rd year, when just six months ago he was the “earth, moon and stars” of the franchise is very baffling. This flip-flopping by the FO is just another indicator of their indecisiviness and incompetence. It also sends a very poor message to other marquee free agents in that, if they are so quick to change strategies, how can they be trusted?
    If that’s really the case, which I highly doubt,

  • 41 steve // Jul 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Or maybe it shows free agents that the Suns aren’t going to be a club full of drama, letting pending free agency of superstars envelop their entire season (See: Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers).

    Babby didn’t say Nash was the “sun, moon, and stars” of the franchise to let everyone know the Suns would do anything to keep him a Sun forever. I’m sure the motivation behind that statement was a mixture of the following:

    1. It lets Steve Nash know the Suns are not INTENDING to get rid of him, allowing him to focus on what he does best (basketball).
    2. It lets the rest of the players (whose livelihood depends on Nash, to a large degree, know that the organization is focused on continuing WITH Steve.
    3. It lets the rest of the league know that Nash won’t come cheap. If they’re planning on lowballing, don’t even bring the offer to the table.
    4. It lets the fans know the organization either isn’t fielding any offers for their favorite player/team leader, or if they are fielding offers, they’re negotiating from a position of strength, not desperation.
    5. It lets the fans know the team is not wanting to tank just for the sake of tanking (some fans want to tank, others don’t. I’d say most don’t want to tank).

    I’m sure there are other options, but those are just a few reasons that are sensible and don’t make Babby seem like the devil. So, obviously, you’ll just whimsically throw these options out the door, because, as we all know, Sarver is Lucifer himself, and the two-headed beast of Babby and Blanks is the antichrist.

  • 42 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Looks like the Nets have acquired and according to Broussard, this deal was contingent on Williams resigning. If this is accurate, it means Howard is not going to the Nets, which I am glad as the way he’s handled his situation with the Magic has been childish and completely disgraceful. More importantly though for the Suns, this will likely lead Cuban to make a big push for Nash. As such, there’s no way I can see Nash staying with the Suns now, especially after low-balling him.

  • 43 Ty-Sun // Jul 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I just read the the Net and the Hawks have agreed to a trade that will send Joe Johnson to the Nets. To me that says that the Hawks are ready to move in a different direction and are going to try make sure they don’t loose Josh Smith when he becomes a FA next year.

    Just an FYI for everyone that kept saying that the Suns should go after Smith. He was never on the FA market this year and now I doubt he’ll be available next year either.

    Probably the smartest move the Hawks could make really. JJ is good but not worth loosing other younger stars over because of his max deal.

    The Nets went ahead and made the deal even without a commitment from D-Will to stay because they were just tired of doing the Dwight Howard dance with Orlando. If D-Will stays in Brooklyn, getting Howard is no longer a possibility for the Nets. Don’t get excited Suns fans. “Sources” say that Dwight has said that if a trade to the Nets is impossible, Dallas is his second choice. And if D-Will stays with the Nets, I expect Dallas to make a serious play for Nash too.

  • 44 Ty-Sun // Jul 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Oh come on, Steve! Sarver, Babby and Blanks aren’t the devil and the two-headed antichrist! I always thought of them more as Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of NBA hell, keeping the good players out while luring in all the bad players they can to fill out the Suns roster and never letting them go. ;)

  • 45 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Suns still haven’t presented any sort of offer to Nash, AT ALL. This is a good thing.

    ATL finally fixed their mistake and got ISO Joe out of town. Good for them. Horford instantly becomes their foundation for the rebuild. Smart moves by the Hawks.

  • 46 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Come on Steve, is that your best rebuttal?? Besides your silly argument, your attempt to childishly distort my contentions by insinuating I think of Sarver as ‘Lucifer,’ serve only to demonstrate how weakly-grounded your arguments really are.

    Firstly, taking your theory of Babby’s intentions as true, that calling Nash the “Earth, moon, and stars” was intended for the reasons you mentioned, why wouldn’t he just say he was not going to trade Nash or listen to any offers for him? By going beyond that and labeling Nash as he did, make no mistake about it, Babby’s statements indicate that they planned on retaining Nash until he retired and not in fact indicative of the FO’s desire to rebuild without him. Use what little common sense you have. You don’t put yourself in a position of making such a profound statement about a player and then so abruptly change course. Furthermore, if he had only used this phrase to describe Nash’s importance to the franchise on one occassion, then I might concede some merit in your claim. But he didn’t, he described Nash’s importance to the franchise as the “earth, moon, and stars” on numerous occassions.
    Lastly, if the FO believed in pursuing a new strategy by rebuilding, they wouldn’t have sent Babby out publicly to talk about his studies of how long it usually takes a franchise to rebuild. Again, it’s just common sense. How would it serve their interest to tell Suns fans that on average it takes ten years to rebuild as an excuse not to rebuild, and then, only six months later, go in the opposite direction and offer Nash an extension that they know he’s going to reject and thus begin the rebuilding process?

    Now that I have thoroughly debunked your argument, I am going to propose what I believe to be the true cause of the FO’s sudden shift regarding Nash’s future as a Sun…If you recall, in the latter half of the season, Nash was quoted on several occassions saying that unless the FO seriously improved the talent level on the roster, he wasn’t interested in resigning. Obviously I don’t have any inside knowledge and may be entirely off-base, but I’m betting that these statements by Nash were negatvely received by Sarver and that, in his usual “spoiled-child mentality, he felt some degree of betrayal by Nash. As a consequence of Nash reasonably demanding an improvement in talent level, Sarver likely changed his stance on Nash and decided that he would offer him a contract he knows Nash would refuse, so that if there was any public fall-out from Nash leaving, Sarver could proclaim that he did offer him a two-year deal.

    In any case Steve, if you plan on continuing your failed attempts to undermine my arguments, you seriously have to put forth more effort and do better.

  • 47 Scott // Jul 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    @Tony -

    You know Kerr is part of the Suns’ ownership group, right? He’s the only one in the group with basketball experience. That’s why they made him GM for a while. He has influence over that group.

    You also know that it was Kerr who recommended the structure of Babby and Blanks as what should take over after him. I think he even specifically suggested Blanks, and likely he was part of the vetting and voting group.

    Kerr was part of the team that got Colangelo to sell to Sarver. As GM, Kerr was the one who made the Kurt Thomas trade and the two Shaq trades.

    It’s quite possible Kerr has – right along – been making recommendations which the ownership group then approves, putting it into the hands of Sarver to execute. He might have said, “Don’t pay Joe that much.” He might have said, “Time for Shawn to go.” He was going to trade Amare at one point for Andris Biedrins. We know for certain he’s the guy who picked Porter to coach the Suns.

    Is there anything that actually occurred that you blame Sarver for that either wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, the work of Kerr?

  • 48 steve // Jul 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    “Babby’s statements indicate that they planned on retaining Nash until he retired”

    SMH + Facepalm

    @Rich – “Suns still haven’t presented any sort of offer to Nash, AT ALL. This is a good thing.”

    Has this been verified? Is Calvisi just a little stink who had no idea what he was talking about (this is what I suspected when I heard the “offer” the Suns supposedly made).

  • 49 GoSuns // Jul 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    @scott, I was wondering about that

  • 50 Michael Schwartz // Jul 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Even back seven years ago when I did a story on brand-new owner Robert Sarver for the UA paper Kerr said he would make recommendation on players he saw while calling TNT games (the specific example there was James Jones since he saw a lot of Indiana back then).

  • 51 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm


    so what you’re saying is that while pretending to be an objective analyst for TNT, Kerr is secretly plotting for the Suns success?! LMAO! Where’s your evidence demonstrating that Kerr was the one who had the most influence in deciding to hire Blanks and Babby? Show me the evidence!! And don’t give me any third person hearsay information. Let’s see the real deal because I have never heard that Kerr was the primary factor in the hiring of Babby and Blanks.

    In addition, if you read my earlier posting, then you would have read where I did place Kerr as solely responsible for certain decisions, such as the Porter fiasco. However, let’s try to remember who hired Kerr to be the GM…I bet now you are going to tell me that it wasn’t Sarver but instead Brian Colangelo, who while secretly running the Raptors organization, is also secretly rooting for the Suns too.

    Michael, I know Kerr and Sarver have a long relationship and I’m pretty sure Kerr had some influence on the decisions made pre-GM job. However, as I’m sure we can all agree to, a lot changes in 7 years. A lineup featuring Nash, Amare, JJ, and Marion, to one with Marshall, Dudley, Gortat, and Morris now is indicative of that.

  • 52 Tony // Jul 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm


    if you’re not even going to attempt to articulate any substantive contention contrary to mine, then I’m finished discussing this topic with you. You can defend Sarver all you want, oh and by the way, I do hope your monetary compensation from Sarver for doing so is substantial, but facts are facts and no amount of absurdity from you can change that.

  • 53 steve // Jul 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I will respond as necessary, tony. On this matter, you’ve already proven yourself to be unwilling to accept reasonable alternatives to your interpreted meaning of babby’s words. It would be futile for either of us to argue about the matter any further.

  • 54 Keith // Jul 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Give it up, Steve. Trying to get Tony to see anything is a waste of time.

  • 55 Tony // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:07 am


    Oh sure, because implying I called Sarver the devil really demonstrates an articulate and thoughtful counter by Steve to what I said. That’s pretty lame but not surprising from a Sarver-supporter. You guys must represent the “clueless Suns fans contingent.” How long have you been a member, as long as Steve?

  • 56 Scott // Jul 3, 2012 at 2:30 am

    @Tony -

    I’ve presented to you before how Kerr told the press that he was the one who recommended replacing himself with the talent evaluator (Blanks) and the contract guy (Babby).

    I’m not finding the article or quote I want to, and it is late at night, but here’s a an article I’ve come across from Coro where Kerr is applauding the hiring of his friend, Lance Blanks, to replace him as GM. It also notes that Kerr had recommended to Sarver that he hire an agent (Babby) to handle contracts.

    As for who hired Kerr to be GM … why that would have been Sarver, under the recommendation of the ownership group, which includes Kerr.

    Sarver was friends with Lute Olson, who introduced him to Kerr and the idea of buying the Suns. Kerr has been, from the beginning, “the guy with knowledge of the NBA” for Sarver.

    As for Sarver’s take on Kerr’s departure from the GM position, here’s a quote from an interview which underscores that it was Kerr’s decision again, not Sarver’s.

    Again, keep in mind that Kerr is the only one of the owners who has any basketball experience.

    On Steve Kerr leaving the team:

    “Nothing in this business will shock you. I’ve worked with Steve for quite a while, including the last three years as general manager. We know each other very well. He’s had some good opportunities including going back to TNT. They made a hard sell to him this week – as well as a team called to see if he was interested in being a head coach, which is something that, at some point in time, he may end up doing. I wouldn’t say I was shocked by it. I’m disappointed because I think he had really kicked into gear and, obviously, things were going in the right direction… This is a stressful job. Being a head coach or being a general manager in this job, there is a lot that goes into it and a lot that changes from week to week or game to game. I pushed him real hard to make the move out here when he took the job… I think that, at the end of the day, for him just personally, he decided, ‘This is what’s best for me.’… We’ve made some good moves and we’ve made some bad moves. We’ve overall, had some very good success. Has it all been roses? Absolutely not. Have we been through some tough times? Absolutely true. Do we agree on everything? No we don’t. Do we agree on 90%? Yes we do.”

    On if he had offered a pay cut to Steve Kerr:

    “The contract numbers, I don’t really like to talk about. We don’t talk about them. Since a lot of the media has decided they know what they are, I can tell you that a lot of these contracts for GMs, players and coaches are set by the market. The market is that there are 30 GMs, 30 coaches and 450 players. That’s really what sets the market. In terms of Steve, he wasn’t at the top. He was well compensated. He was in the top one-third of general managers in the Western Conference. And if you look at our payroll, our payroll is in the top third. You can’t have the third best winning percentage in the league for six years and have gone to the Western Conference Finals three times unless you have good people. And in order to get good people, you have to pay them fair compensation and what makes sense in the marketplace.”

    IMO, Sarver realizes it’s his job to manage the money. For the rest of it, he leans on advisors, and from the very start, Kerr has been a key advisor, if not the primary one.

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