Shiver me timbers (it’s approximately 146º in the NYC right now, so please forgive me), but might Steve Nash actually be a viable target for the Knicks?
No, not after the 2011-12 season – if there is one – but right now.
Yesterday, an unsubstantiated rumor made the rounds over the Internets that the Phoenix Suns have decided to put their Canadian PG on the trading block.
Intriguing, to say the least, eh?
Sure, the report has the 14-year vet headed to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the #2 overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft, but whatever. Isn’t it more fun to operate under the assumption that the Knicks have tons of assets that interest other teams?
Hello? Balkman, anyone? Bueller?
Now before we get all moist in the netheregions, keep in mind that the once-elite Nash no longer plays at an MVP-level. That said, his productivity remains surprisingly top-notch.
Last season, Nash averaged 14.7 points-per-game and 11.4 assists-per-game on just over 49% shooting (40% from long-range). It would appear that the rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated, given that for his career he’s averaged 14.7 ppg and 8.5 apg on – you guessed it – 49% shooting. Clearly, Nash is still a very good shooter and facilitator, and there’s no reason why he cannot play at an even higher level with the right supporting cast around him.
And his defense?
Yeah, so, about that.
Did I mention the South African-born Nash is turning 64 next February? Yet despite his AARP-ed-ness, all the guy does is play 75 games-per-year, and we all know the former soccer-player’s conditioning is legendary.
So, do the Knicks have anything left in the cupboard to tempt Phoenix?
Not likely. Unfortunately, Nash is only signed through next season, having signed a $22M extension back in 2009.
And that means that current Knick PG Chauncey Billups, who might be attractive to teams looking to shed a long-term contract, doesn’t make much sense for Phoenix.
It’s not entirely inconceivable that a three-team deal might be out there that works for both New York and Phoenix, but at present, only God – and maybe Isiah Thomas – knows of such a construct.
If only there were a wily, veteran General Manager running the show in New York. I don’t know, someone like Donnie Walsh. But I digress.
Another potential stumbling block in acquiring Nash is the fact that the Knicks pick 17th in the draft, four slots behind Phoenix. This pretty much means that New York has nothing more than the aforementioned Billups, and either Landry Fields or Toney Douglas, to entice the Suns to deal with them.
Not ideal, folks.
The prospect of teaming Nash with his former Stache (D’Antoni) and running-mate Amar’e Stoudemire – not to mention the recently acquired Carmelo Anthony – is tantalizing for sure, but it just doesn’t seem plausible that New York has what it takes to get a deal done.
What do you think? Let me know at @LoHudKnicks.