The Steve Nash era is fading into the sunset in Phoenix, and it’s time the player and organization realize a parting would be mutually beneficial.
Trading a seemingly content player who is still producing at a Hall of Fame level seems counterintuitive, but the Phoenix Suns need to see the bigger picture. It’ll be an uphill battle for 14-20 Phoenix to even manage a .500 record this season, nevermind reaching the playoffs, and the future hardly looks any brighter with an aging roster.
The Suns need to pull the trigger and move Nash by the March 15 trade deadline to capitalize on his value. Should Phoenix swap the point guard for some combination of draft picks and young talent, it could take a strong initial step to rebuild a sagging franchise.
Meanwhile, finding his way to a playoff contender would be a richly deserved move for Nash, the league leader in assists at 10.9 per game. At 38, he should welcome the opportunity to compete deep into the spring while he still has the game worthy of a postseason star.
Surprisingly, Phoenix has shown no inclination to date to move its franchise player—a big blunder from all but the nostalgic angles. And according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, Nash is unwilling to kickstart the process by asking for a trade.
“It's up to the team,” Nash said. "I'm happy where I am. I'm not happy with our record. I feel like I made a commitment to the fans and my teammates. But at the same time, I'd understand if the team wanted to make a move, so I'm completely open.”
So Nash, who leads all guards with a 54.2 shooting percentage, won’t force Phoenix’s hand, at least publicly. And the team appears all too content to ride out the season with its All-Star flourishing on a team that sits in 13th place in the Western Conference.
In this situation, everyone loses.
As tough as it would be to say goodbye to the future Hall of Famer, the Suns need to recognize Nash can best help the organization by bringing an infusion of assets in a trade that would help the team well beyond the point guard’s playing days.