NBA Free Agents 2012: Steve Nash's List of Pros and Cons

Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIApril 19, 2012

NBA Free Agents 2012: Steve Nash's List of Pros and Cons

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    The Phoenix Suns are fighting to stay alive in the playoff picture, and Steve Nash is the reason why.

    No matter how you look at this year's Suns team, Nash is the floor general that makes it all go.

    However, at the end of this season, Nash will be a free agent. Undoubtedly, Nash will be looking for a scenario that gives him the best situation to ride off into the sunset with a championship.

    Here's a list of pros and cons of teams with the best chance to sign the two-time MVP from Steve Nash's perspective.

Phoenix Suns

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    This is my home. I was drafted by this team in 1996 and I’ve spent 10 of my 16 professional seasons in Phoenix with the Suns.

    The fan base here loves me, I’m the face of the franchise and it would be nice to finish my career in a Suns uniform.


    I want to win a title and if I stay in Phoenix, I might be looking at another borderline playoff year.

    The Suns would probably have to sign some pipe dream tandem of Eric Gordon and Gerald Wallace for me to be convinced we could compete.

    I’m still a bit peeved that the organization would try and make me the bad guy, forcing me to request a trade if I wanted to be traded.

    Overall Grade: C+

    If the Suns go out this offseason and add a stud like Eric Gordon, this grade gets bumped up to a B, but for now the only thing keeping me in town is familiarity. I currently have no chance at winning a ring with this team.

Dallas Mavericks

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    I’d be playing alongside my best friend Dirk Nowitzki again. He got his ring last year and didn’t seem motivated after the lockout ended. Maybe I can motivate Dirk to win one more with me.

    I’d have the chance I always wanted: to finish what I started with the Mavs.

    Dallas is familiar. It’s the only other team I’ve played for over the course of my 16-year career.


    If the rumors are true that Deron Williams plans to sign with the Mavericks, I’m the odd man out.

    Logically speaking, if Mark Cuban can go out and sign a top-five point guard this offseason, he’ll sign the 27-year-old, not the 38-year-old.

    Do the Mavs have enough pieces left to compete next year? They’d have at least Dirk, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, Brendan Haywood and myself… hmmm.

    Overall Grade: B+

    For me, this is an ideal situation. I’d love the opportunity to play with Dirk again and this team is more talented than the Suns. However, the Deron Williams rumors are worrisome for me.

Toronto Raptors

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    I get to return to Canada. Admittedly the weather isn’t as great as it is in Phoenix, but still.

    “The Nash Effect” could make Andrea Bargnani even better and the Raptors have a lot of young, talented players.

    Surround me with guys like James Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis and Linas Kleiza and we’ll be a fun up-tempo team to watch.


    The Raptors still have Jose Calderon under contract for next season and they could trade him, but I don’t want a log jam at my position.

    The Raptors stink.

    I’d have to go through the Chicago Bulls and/or Miami Heat to make it to the finals, which would be tough with this supporting cast.

    Overall Grade: D

    I love Canada and Canadians are arguably the nicest people on the planet, but from a pure basketball standpoint, this move doesn’t make much sense.

Orlando Magic

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    The Magic have the best center in the league in Dwight Howard, who has said that he wants to play with me.

    The Magic are a great three point shooting team. If I have the option of throwing alley oops to Dwight or kicking out to sharpshooters for threes, my job is almost done for me.

    Even in the Eastern Conference, when you have a motivated Dwight Howard, you’re a threat to win it all.


    Orlando is absolutely toxic right now.

    Dwight is struggling through a back injury and has apparently ostracized his own coach. Do I really want to place myself in the middle of that mess?

    Again, I have to compete with Miami and Chicago. If Dwight isn’t healthy, my hopes at a title will be dashed.

    Overall Grade: B-

    They get a slightly better grade than the Suns just because of Dwight. But his attitude and motivation have me questioning my decision to join the Magic. I don’t want a situation where players and coaches don’t get along.

Los Angeles Lakers

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    I’ll be on the big stage playing alongside Kobe Bryant.

    Kobe is a winner and you’re always a championship contender with him on your team.

    Given the opportunity, I could make Gasol and Bynum even better.


    The Lakers have literally no cap space to add me and they’ll be preoccupied with re-signing Andrew Bynum in the offseason.

    Kobe’s great, but he’s getting up there in age like me so I’m not sure how much he has left in the tank.

    The Lakers may have addressed the point guard position as far as they’re concerned by adding Ramon Sessions.

    I’d be disrespecting the Suns by going to a team in the same division.

    Overall Grade: C+

    It’s highly unlikely that a team with as little cap space (as in no cap space) will sign me. Compared with other teams on the list, my presence isn’t as important to the Lakers who have Kobe to handle the ball and shoot every time down the court.

Miami Heat

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    Add me to a team with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh? We would be downright scary offensively.

    I could improve the Heat’s already stellar transition game.

    I’m not a great defender, but James and Wade are, and they’d happily help me out on defense to improve their offense.

    I could end the looming questions regarding who the ball-handler should be in Miami. LeBron and Dwyane could relax while playing off the ball. I could get Chris Bosh more involved with the pick and roll game. If I’m the floor general for the Heat next year, I’ll make sure everyone gets the ball.

    I would be invaluable late in games for their half court offense. Instead of deciding which player will isolate, we can draw up plays and execute accordingly.


    I’ll have to take a huge pay cut to play in Miami.

    Would LeBron and Dwyane want me there? If I'm going to take a massive pay cut to play in Miami, I want to know that their superstars are on board.

    I may become a glorified spot-up shooter. I’d be great at doing that (much more consistent than James Jones), but that’s not the role I want.

    Miami would have to switch around their entire system to accommodate me.

    Overall Grade: A

    If the pressure is no longer on LeBron and Dwyane to handle the ball, they can focus all their attention on coming off screens or going backdoor for dunks. If Miami gives me the keys to the Heat’s engine, we would be a serious threat to win a title.