Guard Steve Nash is a former two-time NBA MVP, but at age 37 he's expendable on a Phoenix team seeking youth.
Phoenix’s fast break oriented offense propelled him into the conversation of who is the best point guard in the NBA.
Four consecutive playoff appearances (2005-2008), two conference finals and one conference semifinal appearance later, Phoenix has missed the playoffs two of the past three seasons.
Phoenix wants to make itself a younger team so as to build for the future. And at age 37, despite the fact that six of the past seven seasons Nash has averaged a double-double in points and assists, Nash’s days in Phoenix are numbered. A 37-year-old point guard is not meant for a team seeking young players.
It’s time for the Suns to deal their playmaking guard. And they’ll get plenty of offers for the former two-time NBA MVP (2005 and 2006).
Here are some offers that Phoenix cannot pass up.
Orlando needs to show its franchise player Dwight Howard that it's committed to winning and Phoenix looks to get younger.
This deal would make a lot of sense for the Orlando Magic. And it’d make sense for the Phoenix Suns—especially if the pick is put off for a few years.
The Orlando Magic don’t have much in the form of young talent to trade to the Suns in return for Nash, but they do have first-round draft picks. And with all of the rumors about All-Star center Dwight Howard leaving Orlando after his contract expires after the 2012-13 season (he has an opt-out clause after the 2011-2012 season though) Orlando needs to show that it is committed to winning.
If Howard opts out, the 2012-2013 season will be one to forget for the Orlando Magic, which would then yield a high draft pick Phoenix’s way, if there’s no lottery-protection on the pick.
At age 37, whoever gets Nash gets him with the idea that his days as an NBA player are numbered. It’ll be a short-term acquisition. So the Suns won’t get as much as they should based upon the level of play Nash could provide to a possible suitor in the possible 2011-12 season.
But a first-round pick isn’t bad considering Nash’s age. And even if it isn’t a lottery pick, plenty of teams have found gems late in the first round. Why can’t Phoenix?
O.J. Mayo (#32) could bring youth to the shooting guard position in Phoenix.
Mayo has been somewhat of a disappointment since he was drafted third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2008.
His career started off well as he averaged 17.5 and 18.5 points per game his first two seasons, respectively. Then the Memphis Grizzles had one of the franchise’s best seasons and his points per game decreased to 11.5 per.
With forward Zach Randolph playing phenomenally (20.1 points, 12.2 rebounds per game) and forward Rudy Gay and guard Mike Conley taking their games to new levels this past season it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Mayo’s offensive output decrease.
This may not be Phoenix's favorite deal since it doesn't acquire a point guard of the future, but it's still a good trade.
In Phoenix there are currently two elder shooting guards, Vince Carter and Josh Childress, that can be shipped out for a point guard if this trade is made.
Carter, at 34 years old, cannot be in Phoenix’s future plans and, at 28, Childress is on the fringe of being someone Phoenix would want to work with.
Mayo would bring youth and upside to the shooting guard position while getting rid of a player who’s putting up great numbers on a fading team.
Jrue Holiday would serve as the point guard of the future in Phoenix.
This past season the 76ers made the NBA playoffs for the third straight year and lost in the first round of the postseason for the third straight year.
Acquiring Nash could help the 76ers move past the first round, although the Eastern Conference isn’t the pushover conference it used to be.
It’s not certain if Philadelphia is a “buyer” or “seller” as discussions continue about trading its franchise player, forward Andre Iguodala.
But for Phoenix it makes a lot of sense.
With only one other point guard on the roster, Aaron Brooks, if Nash is traded then the Suns need to find another point guard.
At 21 years old Holiday is an up and coming point guard who has shown glimpses of greatness in his two NBA seasons.
This past year he averaged 14 points and 6.5 assists per game (up from 8 points and 3.8 assists per game in 2009-10).
Holiday won’t replace Nash’s presence immediately, but he could be the point guard of the future for Phoenix.
Michael Beasley (No. 8) would provide a scoring touch from the forward position in Phoenix (Beasley averaged 19.2 points per game last season).
Both Beasley and Williams are forwards under the age of 23 (Beasley 22, Williams 20) which goes along with Phoenix's youth movement.
Beasley has proven himself a viable scorer in the NBA (19.2 points per game last season) on the verge of making himself an established NBA scorer or destroying his NBA career with off-court issues—he has a history with marijuana use.
But he's a talent too good to pass up for Phoenix if Minnesota offers him up for Nash.
Williams was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA draft in June. He’s an athletic forward who could play the small or power forward position, depending on whose opinion is sought.
This past year at Arizona he averaged 19.5 points and 8.8 rebounds while leading the Wildcats to the Elite 8 where they lost to the national champion Connecticut Huskies.
Either player would bring athleticism and a knack for scoring that a young team could use. Beasley could possibly develop into a franchise player in Phoenix while many say Williams has the highest ceiling of any player drafted in 2011.
Phoenix should be happy with either player if it is offered the opportunity to acquire one.