If we’re getting ready for the weekend, that must mean it’s time for the most recent Nash trade talk, as reported by the always-excellent Marc Stein of ESPN. Last week, Stein reported that the Suns front office was steadfast in their insistence that they would not even consider trading Steve, going so far as to say,
“I don’t see how it makes any sense for us to move him,” [President of Basketball Operations Lon] Babby said. “I know that people think we ought to look to the future. And we’re doing that. But if you look at the history of the teams that have sort of blown it up, as the expression goes, how successful have they been in recapturing [elite status] and how long does it take?
I’m willing to put more faith in Grant Hill, Steve Nash and the players that we have than I am in a lottery ball,” Babby continued. “It’s easy to say blow it up, but show me the teams that have successfully done it and how long it took and how much luck was involved, because luck’s involved in everything. I don’t want to depend on fortuity. I’d rather depend on a two-time MVP.”
Even with such an adamant argument made by the man making the decisions, Stein reported that there were those close to Nash who believed that Steve may ask for a trade out of Phoenix at some point due to his competitive nature and desire to win a championship.
This week, Stein has an update on the trade situation. According to Nash’s agent, Bill Duffy, it would “be prudent for the Suns to start looking at their long-term future in the summer,” and therefore “they” (presumably he and Nash) are ready for that situation.
This seems like the best-case scenario, in my opinion. In the past, I’ve been vociferously opposed to trading Steve Nash…before the trade deadline, this year. With the Suns making a run toward the playoffs this year and playing an extremely entertaining brand of basketball (remember, ratings are up this year 18% for regional broadcasts), I didn’t want to see Nash traded and the team imploded in February, particularly for low-ball offers.
However, I also disagree with the Suns front office and their contention that trading Nash doesn’t make basketball sense. The quotes in last week’s Dime imply that they mean for the life of his contract. The fact of the matter, however, is that if Nash really does want to a win a championship (and he does, of course), he will walk away from Phoenix at the end of his contract. There’s no doubt about that. Trading him this summer affords the Suns an opportunity to recoup actual value from Nash’s departure and a chance to rebuild while amicably parting ways with the face of their franchise. Sources close to Nash have said that if he were traded before the deadline, he’d prefer if his good friend Grant Hill were included in the deal, and with Hill’s contract expiring after this season, a summer trade of Nash would allow the two to play together again.
There is, of course, a potential snag in all of this.
If the NBA owners lockout the players after this season, as is expected, executing trades (and signing free agents) may become rather difficult. If the NBA has to cancel games (and miss training camp), there may be some question as to how new players can fit in with their new teams, and how quickly.
For now, it seems that Nash isn’t going anywhere, and we still have quite a bit of basketball remaining this year. So keep this information on the back burner, Suns fans, and just enjoy the games.