The Association, is still in “hurry-up” mode, an after-effect of the protracted NBA Lockout, as one week after the completion of the NBA Finals, the 2012 NBA Draft will be held this Thursday night. Teams will barely have enough time to catch their collective breath, before many clubs decide to wade into the waters of Free Agency, which goes into effect this Sunday. One player who will decide where he will make his home next season, is veteran Steve Nash, who has been through this process before.
The veteran, who began his second stint with the Phoenix Suns during the 2004-2005 campaign, will have plenty of suitors courting his services, once the calendar turns to July. The guard who won the NBA MVP in back to back seasons a few years ago, was a guest on the “ESPN-Radio” affiliate in New York City, on Monday and told the hosts that he is keeping his options wide open, as he gets ready to negotiate what could be his final contract of his career in the Association.
The point guard said “It sounds like a company line, but my situation really right now is I’m open to everything and I will definitely look at every situation that comes my way on Sunday, and I’m not going to close myself to any opportunities.”
Those opportunities, will offer Nash an array of choices, from contenders and non-contending teams alike; with some teams trying to entice him monetarily while others will aim to convince him that he can be the player who could bring that club a Title. Nash has gone through 16 seasons in the Association, without sporting an NBA Championship ring; he may find that the franchise that offers him the best chance of getting him that ring, may not be the most lucrative contract that offered . It will be up to him, which route he chooses to pursue.
The veteran could choose to remain with Phoenix, although their chances of being a viable threat to win an NBA Title, before Nash retires is slim at best. There have also been published reports that the Toronto Raptors would offer the 38-year-old guard a deal, however the Raptors will not be a factor in the NBA Eastern Conference, any time soon.
He could be the perfect fit for the New York Knicks, as he played with big man Amar’e Stoudemire for years with the Suns and he could command the respect from Carmelo Anthony, that would make the All-Star forward more of a team player than he was this past season for New York. He would also connect with center Tyson Chandler, who has had his best seasons in the Association when paired with a talented point guard.
If the Dallas Mavericks are unable to land fellow Free Agent point guard Deron Williams, they could turn around and try to convince Nash to sign up for a second tour of duty with their club, after spending six seasons with them earlier in his career. Consequently, if Williams decides to choose the Mavericks over the Brooklyn Nets, that team could try to convince the veteran to sign with them. Once again though, the Nets are not going to be contending for a Championship this year, with their current roster intact.
Although the Miami Heat just won their second NBA Title last week, it is no secret that the team has always been less than satisfied with starting point guard Mario Chalmers, as the team has brought in many challengers since he has been with the squad, to try to supplant him as the starter. Nash, could increase Miami’s odds of winning back to back Championships, but he most likely would be offered the least amount of money by the club, due to salary-cap restrictions.
With Ramon Sessions becoming a Free Agent, the Los Angeles Lakers would also be a team that could be a very good fit for Nash, forming a formidable back-court with All-Star guard Kobe Bryant. The veteran, could become a leader on the club, alongside Bryant, as they hope to rebound from leaving the Post Season earlier than they would have liked over the past two-years.
Nash still averaged a double-double this past campaign, putting up 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per contest. With the right team, Nash could end up with that Championship ring, before he decides to hang up his sneakers for good.