Green: It's foolish not to consider trading Nash
"Why would we trade him, I don't understand that," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "That's not anything that's been discussed here."
Wednesday the Suns, responding to the sudden rumors that Steve Nash was on the trade block, essentially said it's something they would never even consider.
Well, I'm saying they'd be fools not to *insert joke here*.
Let's be honest for a second and admit that nobody really thinks this Suns team is going to make a run at that elusive Larry O'Brien Trophy. In fact, there are many out there (myself included) who think this team will be hard-pressed to even make the playoffs. The Suns, unfortunately, are short on size and star power, which just so happen to be the two things you need most to compete in the NBA.
Note that the team's starting lineup averages 31 years of age (a number skewed by the 22-year-old Robin Lopez) and the roster, as a whole, is not exactly full of guys whose careers are ascending.
There is one exception. Goran Dragic.
A third year pro, Dragic is showing the makings of a budding star. He is getting to the free throw line three times a game, scoring 9.4 points and dishing out 3.7 assists, all in just 16 minutes per game. That he's shooting 50 percent from the floor and 38 percent from three-point range goes to show even more that he has become a very difficult player to guard. Add his size to the equation and you have someone who could be one of the game's better point guards.
But it won't happen in 16 minutes per game which, incidentally, is less playing time than he received even last year. While Gentry is trying to sort out his lineup the team's best young player is languishing on the bench. Now, I'm not silly enough to ask the team to bench Nash for Dragic, but even the most ardent Nash fan has to have noticed how slow the two-time MVP looks on the court compared to the 24-year-old Dragic.
So, we come back to the idea of trading Nash, not because he's ineffective but because the team at some point needs to move on, and they finally have the player to hand the torch to.
Of course, if the Suns traded Nash there would be backlash not seen in Arizona since the Diamondbacks let Luis Gonzalez leave. While absolutely the right decision at the time, there are fans out there who so dearly hold onto the past that they are not ready (or willing) to move on to the future.
But at least Gonzalez was part of a team that brought the Valley a championship. The Nash-era Suns have regular season wins, two MVP awards, tough breaks and entertainment value. But now, in 2010, will people watch a team that is not winning just because Steve Nash is on the roster. Would you?
Adam can be reached with your questions and comments by e-mail here, and you can follow him on Twitter @theAdamGreen