Suns, Knicks working on a Steve Nash sign-and-trade

Sunday and Monday were quiet. Aside from the implications of the biggest name in free agency, Deron Williams, and his choice affecting Steve Nash, there wasn’t much news dealing with the Phoenix Suns.

Then came a storm. A day after the franchise got a shocking commitment for Eric Gordon to sign an offer sheet on July 11, the Suns are still atop the NBA headlines. Today, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the New York Knicks have taken the lead in the Nash chase.

Why has Toronto fallen out of favor? Bryan Colangelo’s apparent ploy to indirectly snap a Phoenix and New York sign-and-trade by handing out the green to Landry Fields isn’t looking too promising.

In addition, Ken Berger of CBS reports that Nash has told those close to him that New York is his destination of choice.

The Suns and Knicks are working on a deal to send Nash to the Big Apple in return for Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas and Dan Gadzuric. The Knicks would then sign Nash to a three-year contract worth $27-30 million, according to Wojnarowski. That’s a salary much more than the $3 million they could have offered Nash without a sign-and-trade, and it’s within reason when compared to Toronto’s fat offer of $36 million over three years.

For Phoenix, the prize in this proposed trade is of course Shumpert, the 6-foot-5 combo guard who would likely fill in as an energy guy off the bench behind Gordon assuming the Hornets don’t match the four-year, $58 million offer sheet Gordon said he’ll sign. And if New Orleans retains Gordon, Shumpert is a good insurance starter at the two-guard slot who as a rookie already had the athletic ability to be a strong defensive stopper on the perimeter.

He averaged 9.5 points, 2.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game last season.

Shumpert, of course, tore his ACL in Game 1 of the Knicks’ first-round series against the Miami Heat. He probably won’t be ready to play by the beginning of the regular season.

Phoenix wants Beasley commitment, will talk with Felton

Paul Coro said the Suns will look for a commitment from free agent Michael Beasley today when the Suns meet for the forward for the second time.

In fact, Coro writes that Beasley wants to come to Phoenix despite the Detroit Pistons also showing interest in the talented but volatile scorer. And when that volatility is mentioned, it should be of note that Beasley’s agent believes Gentry will be able to mold Beasley, who has had his share of off-the-court issues during his NBA career, Coro says.

The Beasley news is pretty obvious; the Suns need scoring punch, especially if they can’t acquire Gordon from NOLA. Beasley, though erratic at times, has the potential to thrive in Alvin Gentry’s system and provides Phoenix with an ISO threat when plays break down.

But there’s still a hole at point guard. Coro also tweeted that Phoenix will speak with point guard Raymond Felton tomorrow.

Even if the Nash deal goes through, neither Shumpert nor Toney Douglas are true point guards — ask Knicks fans. Kendall Marshall shouldn’t be expected to be thrown into the fire immediately, and Sebastian Telfair’s role comes into question this summer. Though he’s been “Through the Fire” (ha. ha.), he’s probably not an option to become a starter.

The Suns met with Goran Dragic on Tuesday, but he may be asking for too much money at approximately $9 million per year after coming off a strong second half of the 2011-12 season.

Felton thrived in Mike D’Antoni’s system in New York — he averaged 17.1 points and nine assists per game — but struggled this past year with the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging 11.4 points and 6.5 assists a night.  He also struggled with conditioning issues during the lockout-shortened year.

  • Andy

    I’m not sure how this trade is supposed to work. If I understand this correctly:

    Then the maximum year-to-year raise under a sign and trade deal is 4.5%. That means to get to the reported 3 year, 25 million dollar deal you’d need a contract that starts at 8 million, roughly. An over-the-cap NBA team can take back 150% of the outgoing salary, plus 100,000, on any trade under 9.8 million. So. to take back 8 million, the over-the-cap Knicks would need to send out about 5 million. This is where everything breaks down. The Knicks non-Anthony, Stat, or Chandler contracts are (in full):
    Shumpert at 1.563
    Douglas at 1.145
    Jordan at .473
    Harrelson at .473
    and Gadzuric at .06

    That’s 3.714. In other words, they’re still about 1.5 million short of being able to do this deal, even if they deal us the entire roster. This is why the news stories have them “looking for a third team to facilitate the deal.” The problem is, of course, this team must meet the following requirements:
    1) They must have expiring or non-guaranteed contracts of 1.5 million, almost exactly. (Or be willing to surrender a prospect worth that much to the Suns, but no one is giving up a prospect for anything the Knicks can offer.)
    and 2) They have to be willing to take essentially nothing back to make this happen.

    Why? Because the Knicks have already traded their 2014 and 2016 picks. By NBA rules you can’t trade consecutive picks, meaning the Knicks can’t deal the 2013, 2015, or 2017 picks either. They’ve also dealt next year’s second round pick. I don’t see many teams willing to climb on board to this mess for a two-years-future second. So, the team is either waiting for a 2018 pick or facilitating this deal for absolutely nothing. I don’t see an obvious answer to this problem. As a result, I’m skeptical there’s much to see here.

    The only other possibility is that the Knicks want the Suns to throw in some sort of pick to the facilitating team to get the deal done, but I’m intensely skeptical of giving up a pick in what is rapidly shaping up to be a year that is engineered to return the highest possible pick – even a second rounder.

  • KeZ

    Phx is looking to sign Greg Oden. Imagine if our beloved training staff makes the same magic to him that they did to Grant Hill!? That would be fudgin scary……..

    Make it happen FO.

  • joey

    suns should get knicks to sign novak and include him in nash trade. greg oden would be a good rehab project but brandon roy would be a much better rehab project.

  • Tony

    Well folks,

    not to alarm many of the pro-Gordon to Phoenix contingent, but Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Hornets, as expected, fully intend to match the Suns offer. So, it looks like we will get Beasley and that’s about it….. Personally, I’m glad they will match because no way is Gordon worthy of a max-deal. It would not be in the Suns long-term interests to sign him at that price.

  • Scott

    My understanding is that both Oden and Roy have structural problems, not functional problems. A training staff can’t fix those.

  • GoSuns

    NO says theyll match for now lets wait and see what pieces we add cause a sign and trade deal might benefit both parties

  • bk

    It is good to see the pick-and-roll of Nash and Stoudemire again. There will be pick-and-roll of Nash/chandler too. Love it!

  • Tim from British Columbia

    I think they should try hard to get Dragon as he would be the best PG available and knows much the team and system. He is a younger version of Steve Nash and will only get better…

  • Fan in Chi Town

    The freaking lakers. I can’t believe it…

  • Bill_Thomas

    Kobe Bryant will now be Steve Nash’s latter-day Jason Richardson, LOL. The more things change, the more they stay the same.