Fear is driving Suns' reluctance to trade Steve Nash
So you're saying Steve Nash is not going to re-sign with the Suns when his contract expires? Why wouldn't a 38-year-old former league MVP want to spend his final seasons with a team that has zero chance of winning an NBA championship, which just so happens to be the only thing Nash has yet to accomplish in his Hall of Fame career?
With the NBA's trade deadline just a couple weeks away, the team has done all it can to put any talk of trading Steve Nash somewhere to bed. Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby has told anyone who will listen that the team will not move Nash unless he asks to be dealt, and since there's been on indication of that happening, no trade will be consummated.
Nash has talked about loyalty to his teammates and the Suns organization, and Babby has cited the same reason as for why the team won't actively pursue a deal, and that sounds all well and good.
But I'm going to submit another reason for why the team won't make a deal: fear.
The Phoenix Suns are afraid to trade Steve Nash.
It's no secret Nash is one of the most revered players in Suns history, and one who can still play at a high level. He's the voice and face of the Suns, and, as Babby has dubbed him, the sun, moon and stars of the franchise. As such you don't ship a player like that out without some serious thought behind the move.
Then again, his obvious decline did not stop fans from blasting the organization for the move, which in turn caused them to overpay and keep Eric Byrnes.
But, as the Diamondbacks learned then what the Suns will learn soon, players don't bring fans to watch their games - winning does. The bitterness over Gonzo's exit subsided when the team reached the NLCS in 2007, and the fans stayed away when the D-backs bottomed out the following seasons, even with Byrnes on the roster.
So what to do with Nash?
If the thought is to re-sign the point guard when his contract is up, how come a deal hasn't been struck by now? Nash probably does want out, but is smart enough to not let himself become "the bad guy."
Everyone loves him - with good reason - but if people don't think winning is important to the guy they are sorely mistaken. But, as Harvey Dent said in The Dark Knight, "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
Nash is doing all he can to keep his hero status, and it's hurting the Suns. Because, if you believe Bucher, the two- time MVP will reach free agency and very much consider leaving the Valley. Everyone will understand why he left, and no one will hold it against him. But the Suns will be left with nothing in return, and that's not good.
So, the Suns need to look at other options, and with the March 15 trade deadline fast approaching, time is limited.
While there's little chance the Suns will get a great package in return for their star, the point is getting something - anything - in return for a player who is likely to leave anyway. There'd be no shortage of options, according to Bucher.
"Obviously there's a tremendous amount of interest," he said of Nash if he were to be placed on the trade block.
A team's job is to do everything it can to win - and win big - and if that means making an unpopular move, so be it. Fans may hate you now (many already do), but if you build a winner all will be forgiven.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
The Phoenix Suns are afraid of what life without Nash will be like, and even more concerned with how they'll be perceived if they're the reason he leaves.
It's understandable, but foolish. And it could cost the team as soon as this summer if they don't do anything about it now.
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