Breaking down Steve Nash's options
While the Suns have plenty of cap space with which to try and lure free agents to the Valley, the biggest storyline coming from the US Airways Center is that of Steve Nash.
A free agent, the 38-year-old has no shortage of suitors -- including the Suns -- and can now begin the process of narrowing down his search. Where it will lead to, we don't know.
But we can offer a breakdown of the contenders in the Nash sweepstakes, so at least there's that.
2011-12 record: 33-33, missed playoffs
2012 Draft: PG Kendall Marshall
Reasons to sign: Nash has played the last eight years of his career in Phoenix, winning a pair of MVP awards as well as plenty of games. The medical staff is top notch and the style of play is conducive to his skill set, and it's possible the grass won't really be greener somewhere else. Besides, the Suns can offer Nash as much money as anyone.
Reasons not to sign: If Nash wants to win, chances are he'll have to go somewhere else. The Suns are not exactly on the upswing, as they have little young talent and are not likely to land an impact player this off- season. The fact that they spent their only 2012 draft pick on a point guard may not be of help to Nash, either. Would it be tough to leave the Valley? Absolutely, but if Nash wants to win a title (or, really, just win at all) Phoenix may not be the place to do it.
2011-12 record: 36-30, lost to OKC in first round
2012 Draft: SG Jared Cunningham, PF Jae Crowder
Reasons to sign: Steve Nash is familiar with the Mavericks, having played there from 1998-2004. His good buddy Dirk Nowitzki is still there, and the Mavericks -- NBA champs in 2011 -- offer Nash as good a chance to win a title as anyone.
Reasons not to sign: Maybe Steve has some bitterness towards Marc Cuban, who allowed Nash to leave as a free agent in 2004. Or, maybe, the Mavericks will sign Deron Williams, and therefore have little need for Nash.
2012 Draft: PF Konstantinos Papanikolaou
Reasons to sign: Nash has always had an affinity for New York, and he has lived there for 10 summers. The roster has some talent, and the point guard could be the key to getting Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony to coexist on the offensive end. If that happens the Knicks could become one of the East's most dangerous teams.
Reasons not to sign: Does Nash want to get paid good money in this contract? If so, New York is not the place for him. The Knicks won't have more than the mid-level exception to offer, and besides that, who really wants to babysit 'Melo and STAT? Furthermore, head coach Mike Woodson is not exactly known for running a fast-paced offensive attack, so it may not be a good fit for Nash, anyway.
2011-12 record: 28-38, missed the playoffs
2012 Draft: PG Damian Lillard, C Meyers Leonard, SG Will Barton
Reasons to sign: Portland is the closest team Nash will find to his home town of Victoria, BC, and is known for being one of the NBA's better franchises. Sure, they're coming off a down year, but injuries and trades contributed, and with LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and draft picks Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard it's not unreasonable to think they'll be back in the playoffs shortly.
Reasons not to sign: Portland, once rumored to be very interested in Nash, may not be looking to add the veteran point guard anymore. Besides, factor in the
2011-12 record: 23-43, missed the playoffs
2012 Draft: SG Terrence Ross, PF Quincy Acy, F Tomislav Zubcic
Reasons to sign: The Raptors are the only team left in Nash's native Canada, and he's incredibly popular up north. He has a great relationship with Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo, and could find the young nucleus of Andrea Bargnani, DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross enticing enough to take his talents to the area.
Reasons not to sign: While the Raptors may have some decent pieces, no one would confuse them for a contender -- even with Nash. Colangelo has been unable to transform the Raptors into a consistent winner, and the risk Nash would have signing with the team is that things don't really improve, and the point guard finishes his career in the lottery and in the cold.
2011-12 record: 46-20, NBA champions
2012 Draft: C Justin Hamilton
Reasons to sign: If Nash's only goal is to win a championship, this would be the best place to do so. Team the two-time MVP with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and the Heat will win not just one, not just two, not just three...well, you get the idea. Nash's shooting and playmaking ability would give James and Wade a break, making the Heat nearly impossible to defend.
Reasons not to sign: Does Nash have pride? Yeah? Well, then the Heat are probably not the place. Any title Nash wins in Miami would be looked at as one not earned by the former MVP. Rather, he would be viewed as someone who just road the coattails of other great players. The Heat have proven they don't need Nash to win, and joining them just to be a role player may not be ideal for a guy who can still play at such a high level.
- Alvin Gentry, former Suns head coach - Tuesday May 14Gentry talks to Doug & Wolf about the NBA Playoffs, the Suns coaching search and his future
- Denise McDonough, Ryan McDonough's mom - Friday May 10Mrs. McDonough talks to Doug & Wolf about raising the new Suns GM
- Melinda Dudley, Jared Dudley's mom - Friday May 10Mrs. Dudley tells Doug & Wolf what it was like raising the Suns fan favorite
- Tom Chambers, Suns legend - Friday May 10Chambers tells Doug & Wolf who he'd like to see hired as the new head coach of the Suns
- Ryan McDonough, Suns general manager - Thursday May 9McDonough talks to Doug & Wolf about what he's looking for in a new head coach