Portland Trail Blazers: 5 Reasons the Team Should Pursue Steve Nash This Summer

Bryant KnoxFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2012

Portland Trail Blazers: 5 Reasons the Team Should Pursue Steve Nash This Summer

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    ESPN's Mark Stein has reported that the Portland Trail Blazers are one of three teams "best positioned" to sign Steve Nash as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

    Recently hired GM Neil Olshey has stated that the Blazers are not looking for “aging veterans,” but as a player who could get the team back to Western Conference relevancy next year, Nash should be considered a serious target to add to the roster this summer.

Ready to Win

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    Steve Nash told Dan Patrick in March, “I definitely do want to win,” and that’s the attitude the Trail Blazers need on their roster moving forward.

    Portland may not be the No. 1 option when it comes to winning next season, but with money to spend and two lottery picks coming in, the Blazers should look to make a playoff push following the disappointment that was the 2011-12 regular season.

    The fans in Portland are preparing to enter yet another rebuilding stage, but the losing ways of last year could disappear with the arrival of one of the league's best point guards.

    Nash has no ring to his name, and the closer he gets to retirement, the more he’s going to strive for a championship.

Fast-Paced Offense

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    Under the leadership of head coach Nate McMillan and All-Star guard Brandon Roy, the Trail Blazers ran one of the slowest offenses in all of professional basketball.

    With Roy off the roster and McMillan gone at the trade deadline last season, the Blazers picked up the pace under interim head coach Kaleb Canales and put together a string of impressive victories at one point late in the year.

    Canales is the early favorite to fill the open coaching slot next season, and if he does, don’t expect that pace to wither away with a new rotation.

    Nash has excelled in the fast-paced offense in Phoenix for years, and alongside a power forward who runs the floor well, he could be the best player on the market to help Portland transition into an up-tempo offense.

Help LaMarcus Aldridge

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    LaMarcus Aldridge has become one of the best power forwards that the NBA has to offer, but while his numbers have improved and his game has become forceful, nothing would help him grow more than having a point guard like Nash to get him the ball night in and night out.

    Arguably the best pick-and-roll point guard in the league, Nash would be able to find Aldridge above the rim, beyond the free-throw line and in the fast break.

    The 6’11” forward was selected to his first All-Star appearance this season, but having a playmaker like Nash on his side could elevate his game to a whole new level.

Shooting Ability

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    Steve Nash is arguably the greatest shooting point guard in NBA history, as he is one of only a handful of players to belong to the prestigious 90-50-40 club.

    Portland has struggled shooting the basketball the past few seasons, and while they showed improvement at times last year, it is still a focus of improvement as the roster continues to change moving forward.

    Nash is not a player who relies on athleticism, so despite his age, he is still using his high basketball IQ and incredible shooting ability to make plays at this point in his career.

Veteran Leadership

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    Steve Nash is a 16-year veteran, and while he may not have a ring to his name this late in his career, he has been an integral part of numerous playoff runs with the Phoenix Suns over the past decade.

    The two-time MVP has been there and done that, and as the Trail Blazers look to rebuild this summer, they’ll need to surround their lottery picks with players who can mentor them early in their careers.

    The Blazers went through a rebuilding stage in the mid-2000s, but without the proper leadership on the roster, the youngsters on the team were expected to take the reins from day one of their NBA careers.

    LaMarcus Aldridge will be that leader moving forward, but if the Blazers can snag a player of Nash’s caliber this summer, the team’s newcomers will have one of the greatest point guards in league history to follow as the team looks to get back in the playoffs for the 2012-13 NBA season.