Asked to put a number on it, Suns forward Jared Dudley says he gives the possibility of Steve Nash bolting as a free agent at 70 percent.
"As of right now," Dudley told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Tuesday. "After the season I thought it was 50/50 for him potentially coming back, I think the percentage has gone down a little bit."
Dudley said it would be unwise to count the Suns out, because he still feels Nash would like to keep playing for the Suns. But, he notes, the team has been working to woo other free agents - none of whom have been Nash - so it may be a sign that both parties are ready to move on.
"He's not a dummy, he's going to be smart and do his due diligence."
And that fact, while a bit disappointing, is something Dudley understands. So, the attention turns towards the future and where the Suns are heading. The Suns small forward does not know what will become of his team, but said at the very least, he trusts president Lon Babby and general manager Lance Blanks to do their due diligence when constructing the roster.
"Those guys put a lot of hours and time working on contracts and who fits with what, the direction we're trying to go to," Dudley said. "Everybody wants to be competitive, but yet you want to rebuild at the same time."
Dudley said that means finding good players who are also "good character guys," and he said the team's drafting of North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall along with who they are pursuing in free agency is a sign the Suns are hoping to get younger and more athletic.
"They're trying to get it piece-by-piece, and that's why they're bringing in so many good, young free agents day after day."
That group includes Eric Gordon, Michael Beasley and Goran Dragic, the last of whom used to play with Dudley in Phoenix. As for the point guard's possible return, Dudley is all for it.
"Goran's a great young player," Dudley said. "Me and him played well off the bench a couple years ago when we were in the Western Conference finals."