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Phoenix Suns

Updated Feb 14, 2012 - 5:29 pm

Can Suns build around Nash if he stays?

The Phoenix Suns have been building around Steve Nash pretty much since the day he signed with them in 2004.

Looking for bigs who could roll to the basket and shooters who could hit from three, the Suns have always tried to find players who could compliment the two-time league MVP.

Though 38 and nearing the end of his career, Nash is still playing at a high level, and there's a better-than-good chance his next contract will keep him in the Valley.

So, can the Suns build around Nash -- again?

"But here's the key: you do have a really, really good center in Marcin Gortat. You've got a nice young rookie in Markieff Morris. You've got Jared Dudley who's a nice player," Arizona Sports 620's John Gambadoro said. "There are some pieces here."

Gambadoro said the Suns should expect to have a lottery pick in a good draft, so the roster won't be totally barren.

But, none of that screams "star player," so the Suns will have to turn to free agency to really find help for Nash, and the shooting guard position may be what the team targets.

The names Michael Beasley, Ray Allen, OJ Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, Nick Young and Jason Terry were tossed out, but none sound like appealing options as the Suns look to make moves in free agency.

"They need a Jason Richardson type, they need a scorer," Arizona Sports 620's Dave Burns said, noting that the team is asking guys like Dudley and Channing Frye to be scorers when, in reality, they cannot be relied on.

There is one guy out there who is young enough to warrant a long-term contract and good enough to be the scorer the Suns need.

"To me, the guy you try to get is Eric Gordon," Gambadoro said.

Gordon has shown the ability to score, but not stay healthy. Though he'll be a restricted free agent, there's a chance the league-owned Hornets will not match an offer the Suns can make.

A lineup of Nash, Gordon, Dudley, Frye and Gortat, with Morris, Childress and Warrick off the bench looks a little better than the one we're seeing now, but is it good enough to make the Suns a contender in the Western Conference?

That's the question worth asking.

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