Stein: How Steve Nash decided Los Angeles was a perfect fit

Posted by on July 9th, 2:48 pm

We all were shocked when the word spread. Steve Nash’s trade to the Los Angeles Lakers came out of nowhere, and the chronology of how it occurred resembles how emotional of a roller coaster the free agent process can be.

And when all was said and done, Nash’s decision came down to family.

ESPN’s Marc Stein sat down with Nash to discuss his move to Los Angeles, and today Stein published his piece on how a wild four days ended with the Suns’ legend joining the Lakers.

The circus all began when the Suns made it clear they wouldn’t pursue a Nash signing, something that apparently caught Nash off guard. As Stein reports, Phoenix probably could have offered a three-year, $30 million salary that Nash would’ve agreed upon to remain a Sun. But even at that rate, Phoenix wanted to move on and believed any Nash signing would monetarily hamper its ability to bring in other big-name free agents.

More surprisingly, Stein writes that the move caused a “sting” that briefly prompted Nash to think about retiring.

As most media outlets reported, the two big names in the Nash-hunt following the Suns’ disinterest were the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks. Both made extremely creative and intense pitches to the two-time MVP, and those reports made it appear those two teams were the favorites. On July 1, Nash himself even thought they were the best fits.

Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo, who roped Nash to Phoenix in 2004, made perhaps an even stronger pitch this time around. With a contingent reminiscent of the one Phoenix sent to Dallas in 2004, Toronto pulled at Nash’s Canadian loyalties while meeting with the free agent in New York — Stein reports that Nash was fighting back tears during a video presentation put together by the Raptors.

The food was lavish and the contract offer rich, but the video compilation Colangelo ordered up for the occasion made an impression on Nash that moved him more than a three-year, $36 million pitch ever could — largely because Wayne Gretzky was the narrator.

Rumbles that Gretzky, one of Nash’s boyhood heroes, would be involved in the Raptors’ Nash pitch leaked out through the Toronto media before the two parties got together, but “involved” was understating it. The Great One’s unmistakable voice was the backdrop for a compilation of clips and interviews that traced Nash’s lifelong journey from young basketball dreamer on faraway Victoria Island in British Columbia to two-time MVP with the Suns, hitting all the stops (Santa Clara, Canada’s fairy-tale run at the 2000 Olympics and more) in between and promising a Gretzky-esque legacy if he’d join the Raptors now.

Immediately after meeting with Toronto, the Knicks took Nash and his company away to a helipad, where New York star Carmelo Anthony greeted them. They visited the Knicks’ practice facility and later went aboard owner James Dolan’s yacht.

That was all on the 1st of July, and while those pitches were the strongest, they weren’t the only ones. The Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat and Lakers all made phone calls to Nash’ agent, Bill Duffy, but by Day 2 of the free agency period, it didn’t appear any of those were strong options.

However, Nash’s wish to remain close to his kids in Phoenix remained as the greatest priority. On Day 2, he began to think about Los Angeles, and Duffy contacted Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak to tell him that despite Nash’s comments to Stephen A. Smith about it being hard to join a division rival, the point guard would consider the Lakers.

A call from Kobe Bryant helped, and again putting the Suns and Lakers’ playoff battles aside, each player said their two styles would mesh well. So would their competitiveness, and Stein writes that Bryant, when asked why the backcourt duo could work, simply said, “He’s a bad mother******.”

July 3 and 4 was all about convincing the Suns that they should make an exception for their former star and trade him to the rival Lakers considering all he’d done for Phoenix. Nash and Duffy got the help from Phoenix minority owners Dick Heckmann and Sam Garvin, according to Stein, and those two helped voice their opinion of a deal with Los Angeles to owner Robert Sarver.

Duffy phoned Sarver on the Fourth of July, and finally the Suns’ owner gave in. As Toronto and New York held out — the Knicks were ready to give Phoenix Iman Shumpert in a sign-and-trade, Stein reports — one important piece in the deal actually was Duffy’s other client, Goran Dragic, who was close to a deal with the Suns. Since Duffy could, in all likelihood, guarantee that Phoenix wouldn’t have to worry about finding a replacement for Nash should he be traded, there was a quick and known answer for who’d take the two-time MVP’s place in the starting lineup.

Now, Nash is taking heat in Phoenix for joining the rival Lakers all while receiving criticism over his patriotism in Canada.

But, as Duffy told Stein, it all came down to family, with a 1B priority of wanting to win.

“It really comes down to Steve wanting to be as close to his children as possible. It’s an absolute bonus that he can compete for a ring and the money he’ll be able to earn (roughly $27 million over the next three seasons) at his age. At the end of the day, if Phoenix would have offered him $10 million over three years, he would have stayed in Phoenix. One hundred percent. But we understand where the Suns are. They have to rebuild. They made it clear that they felt like they couldn’t pay Steve a large salary and then go out and get other players to build a team.”

Editor’s note: We originally ran that the Suns could have offered Nash a three-year, $10 million salary based on the quote from Duffy in Stein’s article. After checking on it, we determined it was really meant as a three-year salary at $10 million a season coming to a total of $30 million over three years.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Los Angeles Lakers · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns News · Steve Nash

41 responses so far ↓

  • 1 KLS // Jul 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    As a parent, I can’t blame him for putting his kids #1. And if you don’t really believe Nash that his kids were his main reason for going to LA – so what? He deserves a title and wasn’t going to win one in Phx.

    I’m a huge Suns fan, but I have to be honest. I don’t care where Nash was going to go. He wasn’t going to stay in Phx, so as long as Phx got something in return I was happy – because for a while there it looked like Phx was going to lose him to TOR for nothing in return.

    Nash helped make Phx competitive (and in some years, not only very competitive but very entertaining) – if he thinks LA is best for his relationship with his family and also gives him a chance to win a ring – I’m happy for him.

    Lastly, if Nash had chosen TOR over Phx then the headlines would read something about Nash choosing $ and/or nationality over loyalty. If Nash chose NY over Phx, then … well, I don’t know what the headlines would have been – but there would have been some type of controversy. Nash was the cornerstone of the franchise, and every time a cornerstone leaves it creates controversy. In this case, I’m siding with Nash (but still remain a loyal and … fanatic Suns fan!).

  • 2 cdub // Jul 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I still love Nash. Favorite athlete of all time, hope he finishes his career with success.

    PHX will always be his home and I can’t wait to retire his Jersey in the raftors of US Airways center….

  • 3 Roger // Jul 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Duffy made a deal w/Sarver – Dragic and some Lakers picks for Nash. Plain and simple. Sarver extracted 4 picks out of Duffy.

    I don’t believe one bit about Nash accepting $10m for 3 years, Sarver ain’t no fool – he spends more than $10m alone in 3 yrs on marketing and promo to fill USAir arena. Are you kidding me?

  • 4 Elaine // Jul 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    As a lifelong Lakers fan, I am extremely happy to know that Steve Nash will be with my team next season. I have ALWAYS loved his play, when he was with Dallas AND Phoenix. As he is one of the great ones, it will be awesome to see him in the purple and gold. I know Phoenix fans are unhappy about him leaving. I do understand that, ESPECIALLY to go to the rival Lakers. Even though he will always be a SUN in your eyes, just know that we Lakers fans will love and respect him while he is with us, GUARANTEED.

  • 5 Miles O'Shea // Jul 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Sad to see Steve go, but so happy he will be able to compete for a ring with the Lakers. Also thrilled to see the Suns finally embrace a rebuilding mode. We aren’t going to be great for a few years, but there is hope that we are building! And while I hated the Lakers when they twarted the Suns, I will cheer for them with Nash, at least until the Suns rise again!

  • 6 Sean // Jul 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    This is the quote from Nash’s agent: “At the end of the day, if Phoenix would have offered him $10 million over three years, he would have stayed in Phoenix.”

    I interpret that to mean 3 years at $10M per year. There’s no way Nash would have taken 3 years for $10M total, even from Phoenix.

    I can’t wait for Nash’s return to US Airways in his 1st game back. I hope the fans give him a rousing standing ovation for all he’s done for Phoenix…then the Suns beat down Nash and the Lakers!

  • 7 JZ // Jul 9, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Another factor for Steve leaving was probably the style of playing that Phoenix was playing. It was fast pace, but nowhere near the SSOL. He had played pick and roll/pop with some effective offensive players(All-Stars). Nash lives off the P&R and Gortat and Frye’s inconsistent scoring even when being spoon fed made it harder for Steve to run the offense. He probably questioned every play he ran even if it was a high percentage shot for his teammate.
    Sadly, Steve is now a Laker. He will probably be more comfortable playing P&R with Bynum while Gasol spots up ready for a mid range shot. Can’t forget how many open looks Kobe from Nash setting him up.
    If the Eric Gordon max contract is matched Phoenix should turn around and offer max contract to Brook Lopez. Nets with Howard equal A+ for the off season. How much more damage can Sarver do to this franchise with Brook Lopez on the team? No big name player is going to want to be a Sun for a long time, unless they’re coming off an injury.

  • 8 bk // Jul 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    So, it will be triangle offense or pick-and-roll?

  • 9 Rdway // Jul 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    After reading all these articles, I still have two unanswered questions:

    1. Couldn’t the Suns have re-signed Steve Nash to the terms he wanted, offered Eric Gordon a maximum deal, and signed Michael Beasly? If someone can provide the math that answers this, that’ll be greatly appreciate.

    2. If all the above-mentioned transactions could have been completed, why was it never pushed? Was it really the Suns Front Office who wanted to get rid of Steve Nash (and for what reason), or was it Steve Nash who would think that an Eric Gordon and Michael Beasly signing would not be enough reason to stay and be competitive?

  • 10 Jason A. // Jul 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Elaine, you are the classiest laker fan ever. But Steve and his agent can stop right now with the BS 3/$10 mil talk. Please.

  • 11 rajon // Jul 9, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Am I the only one who never heard Nash say anything about staying close to his kids whenever he talked about free agency during the season?

  • 12 bk // Jul 10, 2012 at 12:44 am

    @Rdway,
    1. The Eric Gordon sign is a gamble and most likely hornet will match. So, Suns will end up similar to last 2 season with only the addition of Beasley and some other 2nd or 3rd tier FA. If Suns missed this year to sign Goran Dragic in FA, they will miss that opportunity to get him.

    2. All new deals of the FA can only be signed, or re-signed from July 11th, no sooner.

  • 13 Miguel Angel // Jul 10, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Most of us are band wagoners here is AZ and claim we bleed orange and purple I have gone to over 40 games in the “Nash era” but I could never get tix for LA or CLE (with Bron). Yet I could find tix for Mem or Minni with over 7 thousand seats empty, if we really loved Nash that much then we should have sold out. Unless it was a big name playing we wouldn’t go, we would as casual band wagoners just check ESPN later. The sad thing was, we always had a big name playing @ the Purple palace and he was bigger than any other Sun that has come before, Steve Nash is a legend that we as suns fans don’t deserve nor ever did. But he played his heart out every night, he made average players good (Gortat) and good players great (Amare) every year. He always talked positive about the suns even when he and all of us knew that Sarver was sending the suns the wrong way. So forget its the laker’s and forget about the money and forget why he wanted to got to LA. Nash has done more for AZ than than any other suns player before, and he’s represented us with pride. The least that the owner could have done was to help Nash play were ever he wanted and the least we as true suns fans could do is want Nash to be happy and remember his greatness.

  • 14 HollieDoll // Jul 10, 2012 at 5:21 am

    As a parent, moving my kids to LA would be punishment. Always will love Nash, but most importantly WILL ALWAYS be a LOYAL SUNS FAN. Bless!!

  • 15 HollieDoll // Jul 10, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Again, this is why I stopped watching years ago when Shaq put a Suns jersey on. I truly love THE GAME, and PHX is the love of my BBALL life. It’s the disgusting $$$ that ruins our love of the GAME. Go Suns!

  • 16 HollieDoll // Jul 10, 2012 at 5:39 am

    @Elaine, if I were you I’d be happy too; to get such a piece of humble pie as Steve but he doesn’t have a place on that ball hogging, court raping team. He won’t get a ring there either. No disrespect to you, I love that you are also a fan.

  • 17 steve // Jul 10, 2012 at 7:38 am

    “No big name player is going to want to be a Sun for a long time, unless they’re coming off an injury.”

    Hahahahaha, I got a good laugh out of this one. First, all you hater clowns were saying, “No big name player is going to want to be a Sun for a long time. Period.”

    Now that the Suns landed all three of their biggest FA targets immediately, it’s “unless they’re coming off an injury.”

    News flash. The Suns got the second-most coveted player in free agency. The Suns got the first or second best PG in free agency, and definitely the most promising. The Suns got the former #2 overall pick, while I’m sure there were many other suitors.

    This myth that no one wants to come play in Phoenix, blah blah blah… it’s all just bunk.

    Miguel Angel exposes the reasoning of the haters in his comment. “Most of us are band wagoners here [in] AZ.” And that’s the truth.

  • 18 HollieDoll // Jul 10, 2012 at 7:54 am

    @steve, speak for yourselves bandwagoners. I have been a loyal fan since I was a little girl living in AZ. Now I don’t live there anymore, and I love my PHX Suns. Always a Suns fan no matter how much it hurts.

  • 19 HollieDoll // Jul 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

    It’s all of you transplants/half fans that are bandwagoners in PHX.

  • 20 Ball Cruncher // Jul 10, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Kevin,

    You write as follows:

    “As Stein reports, Phoenix probably could have offered a three-year, $10 million salary — a huge difference from the three-year, $36 million reportedly being offered by Toronto — that Nash would’ve agreed upon to remain a Sun.”

    This seems to suggest the salary Nash would have accepted an annual average salary of $3.3 million per year over three years, which I agree is a huge difference from the $12 million average per three-years the Raptors were offering, to remain a Sun.

    However, the Bill Duffy quote at the bottom reads “if Phoenix would have offered him $10 million over three years” he would have stayed, but continues later to state Phoenix “made it clear that they felt like they couldn’t pay Steve a large salary.”

    The inference I understand from Duffy’s quote is the Suns were not willing to pay Nash an average of $10 million per year on a three-year deal. I cannot possibly imagine the Suns would deem $3.3 million too high for Steve Nash. I may have misinterpreted what you wrote, though.

    Did you mean to imply $10 million per year by referencing a “three-year, $10 million salary”, or am I correct in reading your intent to mean a $3.3 million average salary? If the latter, and that is true of the Suns turning down a measly salary to Nash, that paints an awfully poor picture of Suns management.

    Nevertheless, I doubt that was the case, and Nash was, after all, seeking an annual average salary of $10 million in a three-year deal. I believe it is important to clarify the number, so not to give the idea the Suns were idiotic enough to ignore Nash at $3.3 million per year over three years.

  • 21 Jasper Buckleman // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Eh, I was a Suns fan long before he was in town (the first time), I’ll be a Suns fan long after he’s gone. I greatly appreciate what he did for this team while he was in Phoenix, but we’ve had good teams before and I hope we’ll field a good team again soon. The Suns have been around for 44 years, not 8. Some of those teams were even more successful than any of the Steve Nash teams. But it was certainly nice having someone you weren’t embarrassed to root for.

    However, that is now two statements from Nash or his people that I call BS on. I can understand wanting to be around your kids, but why does he not care about that during the summer? I’m have no doubt he’s a great father, but that sounds like he’s using them as an excuse. And $10M/3 years? Just shut up.

  • 22 steve // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:41 am

    “Again, this is why I stopped watching years ago”

    I know you don’t know who you’re talking to, so I won’t hold that against you, but that quote above defines bandwagon

  • 23 Michael Schwartz // Jul 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

    @BallCruncher As you will see in the correction above, we got further clarification from Stein and it was the 3/$30 mil deal that Nash would have taken from the Suns, not 3/$10 mil.

  • 24 HollieDoll // Jul 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Stopped watching hoops for a while-Never stopped being a Suns fan.

  • 25 steve // Jul 10, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Yeah, I’m a huge Dark Knight fan. I haven’t seen the first two, and I don’t plan on watching the third, but I know it’s going to be great, and I’m going to be so sad when it falls just short of the Avengers’s opening weekend record…

    Does that ^^ make any sense? Neither does being a fan of a team without watching them.

    A bandwagon fan is someone who jumps on when the team meets their interests and jumps off when the team doesn’t. It’s not a terrible thing to be a bandwagon fan. Some of the “hardcore” fans will try to pretend that the bandwagoners are less human or something, but that’s just ridiculous. They’re just being hipsters who can’t stand their favorite band any more because “they liked them before they were cool.”

    Most franchises need bandwagon fans to survive. My thing is that I wish the Suns could have overcome that. Clearly, though, after seeing the attendance last year, the brand of the Phoenix Suns is not strong enough to withstand losing. I would have thought that four decades of some of the best basketball in the world would have won the city of Phoenix over, even during the tough times, but it’s just not the case.

    So, don’t take it as an insult if I think you’re somewhat of a bandwagon fan for not watching. You’re not any less of a person, just a different kind of fan.

  • 26 Jason A. // Jul 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Thanks for the update Michael. Now all we have left is the BS about his kids. If his kids were the most important thing to Nash he’d have stayed in Phoenix. End of story.

    I hear some of you praising him for all he did for us, how good a player and teammate he was, and how he never complained or requested a trade, and that because of that we shouldn’t feel bad. We should wish him well and cheer for him when he returns. Screw that. HE THREW IT ALL AWAY WHEN HE REQUESTED A TRADE TO THE LAKERS. If I see him play this year I’ll boo him every time he touches the ball.

  • 27 Ball Cruncher // Jul 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Michael, thank you for the clarification update. Initially when I read the article, I was floored (read: deeply sad) to think the Suns would let Nash walk despite such a bargain deal. I suppose we may take some solace in knowing Nash wanted eight figures annually, and the Suns did not oblige and affirm their insanity — doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

  • 28 . // Jul 10, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Wonder if anyone is in the Bobcat band wagon? Anyone…

  • 29 Michael Schwartz // Jul 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Agreed, just wasn’t prudent to bring back a 38-41 yo Nash at that price for that many years when the team so desperately needed to rebuild. I was all but certain that it was 3/$30 just because obviously the Suns would want him back at 3/$10 and obviously Nash would want significantly more when he was offered 3/$36 by Toronto.

  • 30 steve // Jul 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I’m sure MJ’s mom roots for the Bobcats. :)

  • 31 Kevin // Jul 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    @Jason

    His kids were an important factor but Nash didn’t say they were the ONLY factor that he considered when choosing which team to sign with. He wanted to be a part of a contending team too while getting a contract that matched his value and gave him a 3rd year. It’s the perfect fit really. It wouldn’t have been a very smart decision for either side if Steve came back to Phoenix this year despite that being a heartwarming story. In fact…that would have been pretty dumb.

    Go ahead and be bitter just because it’s the Lakers though. It’s your choice. On the other hand I’ll say thanks for all the good times Steve (to keep this post short…I could go on all day about the past 8 years with the Suns) and I wish you the very best with L.A.

  • 32 Jason A. // Jul 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    @Kevin I don’t have a problem with him leaving, I just have a problem with the Lakers. You can’t go to the lakers. Not the lakers. And then he asked us to trade him so he could get more money. Trade him to the lakers. Nightmare. Should Dirk ask to get traded to the Spurs so he could be close to his kids? Ridiculous.

  • 33 Tony // Jul 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    @Jason,

    Nash never said his kids were the only determining factor in deciding where to play. He also included playing for a contending team and getting 3 year deal. I know as a typical Sarver supporter, you prefer to remain in ignorant bliss, but now you are just attempting to distort reality. If it was just all about the money, Nash would have taken the Raptors offer of $12 million per season. Lastly, arguing that Nash should have just finished his career with the Suns if his kids were that important to him is predicated on the assumption that the Suns FO did in fact offer him a contract. Paul Coro and other reporters have repeatedly stated that not only did the FO not offer Nash an extension, but they didn’t even ask to meet with him when free agency started. For a guy who has done as much as he has for this franchise, that’s a pretty big slap in the mouth.

    @Steve,

    I would hardly qualify Gordon, Dragic, and Beasley as definitive proof marquee FAs want to play for the Suns. Dragic may someday turn into one of the best pgs in the NBA, but he’s not even a 1st tier pg yet and he hasn’t played a full season as a starter. So we don’t really know how he will handle that situation. Furthermore, Gordon is not a marquee player. As Colangelo implied, paying the max for a player who hasn’t played a full season in the NBA is “interesting,” (ridiculous and undeserved). And please don’t insinuate that Beasley is a big-name player either. The guy hardly played on the freaking Timberwolves!

    @Michael,

    considering the fact that for all that Nash was under-paid for all he has done for the Suns franchise over the years, why are you suggesting as if $10 million over 3 years was such an exorbitant deal? The guy was 2nd in apg, shot over 50%, and was the principal reason the Suns finished with a .500 record. I don’t have the exact number in front of me, but how many games has he missed in the last couple seasons due to injuries? He only missed a handful last season and most of those were due to Gentry resting him.
    It would be one thing if the Suns were closing in on an elite player to take them over the top and needed the salary cap room that would otherwise go to Nash, so that the FO could pay this hypothetical player. But, as of now and even considering the following season, what marquee player are the Suns going to be serious suitors to acquire? Furthermore, you seem content with overpaying Gordon, a guy who has missed an average of over 20 games in each of his NBA seasons due to injuries, and a guy who throws his franchise under the bus, but you have such a problem with offering Nash $10 million per year? Please explain your logic….

  • 34 steve // Jul 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    “As Colangelo implied, paying the max for a player who hasn’t played a full season in the NBA is ‘interesting, (ridiculous and undeserved).”

    Colangelo also said, in that same interview, that it was a coin-flip-decision between Harden and Gordon. So, what you take to mean “ridiculous and undeserved,” I take to mean, “He’s good enough to be on the Olympic roster for the country that is far and away the best in the world. I think Jerry’s last comment is more of a jab at the Suns. Why do you think Barkley rips on PHX harder than any other NBA franchise? He wants to protect his legacy. Watching your former team succeed is hardly ever as high of a priority to superstars (and Jerry is a superstar in the sports executive world) as protecting their own legacy.

    Jerry said Gordon was good enough to be on the best 12-man roster in the world. If you ask me, I don’t think he questions Gordon’s ability at all.

    And you can make all the excuses you want as far as those guys not being truly marquee free agents, but I’m not going to waste my keystrokes. They met with three high-profile players, all three agreed to sign pretty much immediately. The best SG available, the second or third best PG available, and probably the FA with the highest or second highest ceiling of them all. They all agreed to sign deals to play for the devil’s team without hesitation. You can’t argue with facts.

  • 35 Jason A. // Jul 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    @Tony you make some good points but my problem is la.

  • 36 Tim in BC // Jul 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    It is not that Steve Nash left the Suns that hurts, what hurts is that he signed with the Lakers which is the Suns nemesis. This after Nash said that “he is old school and could not see himself wearing a Lakers uniform.” Does he forget Kobe Bryant saying last year how much he hates the Suns?! What happened to him saying that having a ring is not that important to him, not as important as being on a team with good chemistry and he feels comfortable being on. I know that sadly loyalty is mostly a forgotten element of professional sports although it does still happen with Dirk Nowitski staying in Dallas and Tim Duncan saying he will never leave the Spurs. Still, Nash could have gone to the Nicks and I wouldn’t have been so upset or disappointed or the Raptors because I am Canadian and it would do alot of basketball up here and I get to see most of their games. Great he is thinking about his kids and all but I think he could have gone to the Clippers even and it would have been easier to swallow. I wouldn”t boo Nash but will not cheer for him again. Suns still my favourite team and Dragic now my favourite player.

  • 37 Jasper Buckleman // Jul 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I like that the Suns got some draft picks, but they got them so Nash could get more money. Some say the FO owed him that much, but did they really? They didn’t trade him last year in the middle of the season, which would have been hard on him an his family. Since they clearly had no interest in resigning him, I assume that was done for his benefit. He got to pick whichever team he wanted, and he chose the awful-good-for-nothing Lakers. But he could have been traded elsewhere.

    And again, did the FO really owe him anything? I always enjoyed watching him play, I thought he deserved both of his MVPs, and I loved every second of the three trips to the conference finals. But let’s face it, we’ve missed the playoffs in three of the last four years. We haven’t had that bad a stretch since the druggie years. As a matter of fact, the Suns have only missed the playoffs nine times since 1975, and three of those are on Nash’s watch. Her certainly isn’t to blame for it, but again, why does the FO owe him anything?

    I, too, won’t boo Nash, but I’m certainly not going to cheer for him. He’s not a Phoenix Sun.

  • 38 Rdway // Jul 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    @bk, thanks for answering my questions.

    I’m still at a loss though on why the Suns and Nash had to part this way.

    I guess I’ll break down the discussion one question at a time.

    My first question for everyone is: Could the Suns have done the following transactions (in order) during the start of the free-agency period?

    1. Call Steve Nash first. Offer him 2-year contract at $10M per year, with player option for 3rd year at $10M also (similar to what KG and TD got from Boston and SA, respectively). Also inform him of plans number 2 and 3 (see below) – getting him a borderline all-star SG and a high risk, high reward PF.

    2. Call Eric Gordon next. Offer him max RFA money.

    3. Call Michael Beasley after. Offer him the current package by Suns FO ($18M over 3 years, if I’m not mistaken).

    Let me know if the math on this is possible to begin with (incorporating amnesties, etc.)

  • 39 Michael Schwartz // Jul 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    @Tony Because he will be 41 when that deal ends. I don’t think $10 mil a year is exorbitant at all if Nash is the piece that pushes you over the top. In fact, I bet he earns every cent of that money the next three years. But the fact of the matter is the Suns needed to reload with youth and they could not really do that while paying Nash $10 mil a year. Basically Nash with this core wasn’t going anywhere, so it was time to rebuild with youth. I like Gordon because he’s 23 and one of the best scorers in the league. He could be a top 15-20 player in this league one day and he will just be reaching his prime once the Suns theoretically get good again. I like Gordon at $14.5 mil better than Nash at $10 mil due to where the Suns as a franchise are today.

  • 40 Michael Schwartz // Jul 10, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    @Rdway It is possible with about $1.3 million to spare, but no Lopez and Childress gone via amnesty.

  • 41 Rdway // Jul 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    @Michael Schwartz, thanks for answering my first question.

    So, it was possible for the Suns to have Nash, Gordon and Beasly for the 2012 season. The line-up could have even been as follows:

    PG: Nash – Marshall – (Telfair)
    SG: Gordon – (Redd) – (Brown)
    SF: Dudley – (Hill)
    PF: Beasley – Morris – (Warrick)
    C: Gortat – Frye

    That said, my next question for everyone is: Who did not want this to happen, the Suns FO or Steve Nash?

    I’m thinking that if things went the way I’ve assumed above, then:

    1. The Suns will not be alienating the fan base with a Nash-to-L.A. trade.
    2. Nash will have three years to compete for a ring with a more talented and younger team.
    3. Nash will have three years to mentor Kendall Marshall.
    4. Nash will retire as a Sun with his legacy intact.

    So I pose my second questiion again: Who did not want this to happen, the Suns FO or Steve Nash?

    Let me know if there are financial flexibilty implactions for 2013 and beyond that I did not incorporate in my analysis above.

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