Steve Nash Trade Rumors: Should Knicks Pounce or Wait for Chris Paul?

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2010

Steve Nash Trade Rumors: Should Knicks Pounce or Wait for Chris Paul?

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    Steve Nash's name has been coming up in trade rumors recently as the sun sets on Phoenix's chances in the loaded Western Conference.

    At 5-4, the Suns have been competitive and are coming off a win over the L.A. Lakers Sunday.

    That doesn't change the fact that the cost-cutting franchise is rapidly heading towards rebuilding mode.

    Meanwhile, the Knicks have now lost five straight games and need all the help they can get.

    As the losses continue to pile up, New York might be willing to overpay for star talent.

    That could mean Nash, or it could even mean Chris Paul.

    Thanks in large part to Paul's play, the Hornets are off to an 8-0 start.

    With the future of the franchise in flux, they might be willing to deal CP3 if the Knicks if the price was right.

    Here's a look at which point guard New York really needs to turn things around this season.

No. 5: Nash Still Has Enough Left In The Tank

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    It's early, but the Suns have a winning record in the Western Conference.

    Steve Nash is a big reason why.

    Nash is averaging 20 points and nearly 10 assists per game on the young season, showing no signs of slowing down.

    With Raymond Felton on board, Nash would be able to play around 30-35 minutes per game for the Knicks.

No. 5: Paul Is An Upgrade Over Raymond Felton

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    Raymond Felton is off to a brilliant start as a member of the Knicks, but there is no question Chris Paul would be a significant upgrade and the point.

    With the ability to get his points while making his teammates better, Paul would be a great addition to Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo system.

    Felton is an excellent scorer, but is not overly adept at running a pick-and-roll offense.

    It's clear Paul would be the facilitator Amar'e Stoudemire needs.

No. 4: Nash Has Chemistry With Amar'e

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    In many ways, Steve Nash has helped make Amar'e Stoudemire's career in the NBA.

    Stoudemire isn't a great pure post player, but he is an exceptional pick-and-roll player.

    Based on what they did together in Phoenix, there's no reason to believe they wouldn't find success in the Big Apple.

No. 4: Paul Brings Leadership

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    Steve Nash lets his play do the talking, while Chris Paul isn't afraid to get a little chippy when making his feelings known.

    The Knicks could use a little competitive boost at this point.

    Paul's leadership would provide stability and discipline to Mike D'Antoni's enigmatic bunch.

No. 3: Nash Is Still a Showman

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    If the Knicks can't be good enough to make a serious run towards the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, they might as well be fun to watch.

    Adding Nash would help keep the fans interested, if not happy, as he finishes his NBA career.

    Even at 36, Nash is still capable of displaying the creativity that has made him one of the best point guards to ever play the game.

No. 3: Paul Has Youth On His Side

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    While Nash is rapidly approaching the end of the line, Paul is still in the prime of his NBA career.

    Although he has had his share of injuries, CP3 should be able to enjoy at least five more seasons of All-Star caliber play.

    Making a move for Paul would force the Knicks to make a long-term commitment to the point guard of the future.

    It's time for the Knicks to break the bank once again.

No. 2: Nash Is Familiar With Mike D'Antoni's System

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    Aside from Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas, the Knicks are almost entirely comprised of new pieces this year.

    The lack of familiarity has been evident early, with the team struggling on both ends.

    Nash's ability to flawlessly run D'Antoni's offense would help New York consistently be able to score over 100 points.

    Too bad he wouldn't be able to help address those glaring defensive issues in the paint.

No. 2: Paul Is a Superstar

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    Amar'e Stoudemire might not be a superstar in the true sense of the word, but Chris Paul definitely fits that bill.

    With the ability to make his teammates better, Paul would likely flourish if he were surrounded by the right pieces.

    Acquiring CP3 could be enough to push the Knicks into the postseason.

No. 1: Nash Is Easier To Acquire

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    The Hornets will drive a hard bargain before moving Paul, but the Suns would be less reluctant to move Nash.

    Aside from the brutal public relations backlash in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix's organization has very little reason to retain the former MVP.

    With a reasonable asking price in exchange for his services, the Knicks could manage to pull off a deal while hanging onto their young talent.

No. 1: Paul Could Help Lure Carmelo

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    At some point, the Knicks will need to find a great wing scorer in order to match up with the beasts of the East.

    Although it would be almost impossible for New York to make trades for both Paul and Carmelo Anthony in the same season, acquiring one might help attract the other.

    Knowing they would be free to head to the Big Apple once their current contracts expire, either CP3 or Carmelo could be content to sit back and wait things out.

    If Paul makes the first move, the dominoes could start to fall for the Knicks in the free agent market.

Conclusion: Paul Makes The Most Sense

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    Without question, the Knicks need to act and act quickly.

    Nash might help in the short term, but his overall impact would be minimal.

    With him in the lineup, Mike D'Antoni's squad is only a few wins better.

    Paul would provide credibility to New York's hollow mission statement of rebuilding while giving the Knicks stability on the court.

    Even if acquiring him means moving Gallinari and Chandler, there's no reason not to pull the trigger.

    Now, if only there were some quality big men on the trading block.