Steve Nash ain’t no spring chicken. He was the 15th pick in the 1996 (!) NBA Draft.
He’s had an amazing career already, with two MVPs to his credit (2004-05 and 2005-06), insanely good shooting percentages (a member of the ultra-elite 50-40-90 club), and some deep runs into the playoffs with both the Mavs and the Suns.
But let’s face it: The 37-year-old Nash is in purgatory. He plays for a middling Suns club that’s unlikely to be a serious contender this year or — if we’re honest — any time while Nash wears an NBA uniform.
Luckily for Steve, his contract will expire after he earns $11.7 million this season. Nash was involved in trade rumors all last season, but nothing happened. This year, even though Nash says he wants to stay with Phoenix, trade talk will only heat up.
If Phoenix doesn’t move Nash before the 2012 trade deadline, they’ll let him walk for nothing. But think about what happened with Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul. Each of their teams pulled off a valuable trade before their star reached free agency. Nash isn’t on the level with those players any more, but he’s still one of the most exciting point guards in the league, and he could easily be a key piece on a quality team.
So who might trade for Nash this season before the deadline?
Bleacher Report ran something months ago suggesting the Magic, Warriors, Lakers, Spurs, and Knicks.
Some of these teams seem less likely now. The Magic seem unlikely because Dwight Howard doesn’t want to land there and the Magic don’t have many other marketable players. The defense-challenged Warriors wouldn’t trade Steph Curry for CP3, so they surely wouldn’t give him up for Nash and they don’t need two point guards. The Knicks (coached by Nash’s old coach Mike D’Antoni) would love him, but they’d have to give up one of their big three — Carmelo, Amare, Tyson Chandler — to do it, but Carmelo would refuse, Amare has bad knees, and Chandler just got there.
Recent rumors have focused on the Lakers. Of course, the Lakers want Dwight, and after the Odom giveaway they don’t have many assets either, but maybe there’s still a chance. Lakers fans on Twitter seem less than excited, though.
Finally, the Spurs might be able to make a deal for Nash. They have shopped Tony Parker for a while now. Could they trade him for Nash to produce a team ready to make one more run before Tim Duncan retires?
Again, Nash insists he doesn’t want to be traded, but you never know what might happen if the Suns got an offer they couldn’t refuse.