NBA Free Agents 2012: How the Draft Affects Steve Nash's Future
Nash is an unrestricted free agent and has attracted suitors from all over the league.
He has been remarkably productive despite being 38 years old. This past year, he averaged 12.5 points and 10.7 assists. He has averaged a double-double in each of the past four seasons.
Nash has had an incredible career that includes two MVPs and four 50-40-90 seasons (field goal percentage, three-point percentage, free-throw percentage). But an NBA championship has eluded him throughout his 16-year career.
He is one of the best players in his generation. He will want a ring to complete his résumé, and Phoenix is showing that they are more interested in rebuilding than putting a championship-caliber roster around Nash.
General manager Lance Blanks has stated that drafting Marshall will not affect the way they pursue Nash in free agency, according to Michael Schwartz of ValleyoftheSuns.com.
However, picking the point guard will affect the way Nash receives the Suns’ offers.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Dallas Mavericks will pursue bringing him back to the team where he spent six seasons, and Nash himself said on the Dan Patrick Show (9:40 into the interview) that he would be interested in joining the Miami Heat.
With the last two NBA champions as potential suitors, the Suns will need to make a compelling argument in order to convince Nash to stay in Phoenix.
Where should Steve Nash sign?
Opting to use their first-round pick on Nash’s successor instead of a piece that the point guard can use is not helping the Suns' case.
In the same interview with Dan Patrick (8:15 into the video), Nash said, “I'm not coming back to the Suns if there isn't improvement.”
From Nash’s point of view, the team will have added a backup point guard if he returns to the team. That is not a serious upgrade.
Nash will be eyeing a championship now that he is in the twilight years of his career, and the Suns are not anywhere near winning a title, with or without their longtime floor general.
Management recognized this and hinted that they are moving on with the Marshall pick. Phoenix will almost certainly reach out to Nash and make an offer, but it will be nothing more than a formality.
Nash wants a championship, which means he will be leaving the Suns.
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