5 Total Updates since February 11, 2011
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
This really doesn't come as much of a surprise, but Steve Nash told the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro that he did not speak to his agent, Bill Duffy, prior to the comments reported on ESPN.com. Duffy speculated in his reported statements that the Suns might consider their options this summer that could include moving Nash.
Some in the media jumped to the conclusion that this was really Nash floating the idea that he wanted it out of Phoenix, something Nash has never indicated before and once again denied.
"Sometimes, what's said is in the context of something else," Nash said. "I haven't spoken to him about it. I expect to be here (in Phoenix). I'm happy here. I expect to be here even next year.
"I don't even think about it. I'm just happy to try to make the playoffs."
Will this latest denial of any interest to be traded stop the Trade Rumor Media Industrial Complex? Not likely.
over 2 years ago Update 3 comments
Here's one thing we know just as sure as Steve Nash dropping 10-plus assists on a nightly basis -- as long as there's a big name player out there who could possibly, under some confluence of circumstances be traded, there will be trade rumors. As you can see by reading the other four stories in this Story Steam, we've been skeptical of all of it since Day 1 and nothing from the latest round of Nash trade rumors has changed that.
The cycles basically play out like this: Someone with a big soap box floats an idea (Mr. Hollinger for example) or someone else reports on the whiff of rumor that a team is interested in Nash (can't blame them), then we all rush to ask Lon Babby about it and he repeats the same thing -- we have no interest in trading the sun and the moon and the stars, aka Steve Nash. Then we ask Steve how he feels about being the subject of trade rumors and he says, "What trade rumors?"
Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.
Today we got a tiny sliver of new information however, although honestly once you think about it there's really not much here either:
Weekend Dime: Latest trade chatter - ESPN
"Steve is a Phoenix Sun and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say he's the face of that franchise," Bill Duffy, Nash's longtime agent, told ESPN.com this week.
"But logic dictates that it would be prudent for the Suns to start looking at their long-term future in the summer, so we would expect that they may entertain moving him during the summer. We are ready for that and we anticipate a very respectful process if they decide to look at starting over with a younger core."
So, Nash's agent is stating the obvious. Obviously, the Suns will start looking into their options. In fact, it would be Gross General Managerial Negligence if they did not look into their options either this summer or at the upcoming NBA Trade Deadline (Feb 24). It is their job to look into options. They are professional option lookers.
No one actually expects a team to offer the Suns a package the would be worth prying Nash out of Robert Sarver's hands, but that doesn't mean it absolutely won't happen. Since it's pretty much impossible to prove a negative -- that the Suns won't trade Nash -- we will sit back and wait and try and not get our panties in a bunch while all this chatter goes on.
If we hear of something that sounds vaguely legit, we'll discuss it. Trading Nash and Hill to the Knicks for guys who are readily available on the free agent market in any given summer (Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler) does not pass that legitimacy test despite being floated by a member of the Worldwide Leader.
As for the notion that Minnesota would trade Ricky Rubio for Nash? Our buddy Tom Ziller made swiss cheese of that theory in short order.
Feel free to opine that the Suns should trade Nash. It's a fair point. But don't expect it to actually happen any time soon.
As for this coming summer, nothing is getting done until the new CBA is signed. With the potential for a radically different playing field after the likely lockout, it would be folly to think that any team has real plans to do anything until a deal is in place. Just like it wouldn't be wise to invest in Egypt until we see what comes next, teams aren't going to be prone to making long-term decisions until they know what the new rules will be. This is not fantasy sports.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
For reasons that boggle the sensible mind (but makes perfect sense from a business standpoint), certain national writers have decided that it would be fun to speculate that the Phoenix Suns might trade Steve Nash. This speculation from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and even the league's own web site, NBA.com, prompted the local media to ask Nash and Suns head coach Alvin Gentry for a response.
"Steve's not going to be traded, that I can tell you. If he's getting traded, I'm going along with him," Gentry responded in no uncertain terms.
"Have you looked at the way he's playing? He's playing at a real high level. Why would we trade him? I don't understand that. That's not anything that's been discussed here. You guys want to write about it, fine. But you're wasting your time, I think. It's not going to happen.
"Or at least all those guys out in the coaching staff is going to make sure it doesn't happen and I don't think Lon (Suns President, Lon Babby) and Lance (Suns General Manager, Lance Blanks) are going to let it happen and so who the hell's going to trade him? Not Robert (Suns Managing Partner, Robert Sarver), I know that.
"If you're talking about guys in Sports Illustrated, great. It's great the way they fantasize about everything...Steve is here. Steve is the face of our franchise and he's here. So, make sure that gets on every telecast and every radio and everything that you guys got out there."
Nash was a bit more reserved than his coach about the entire affair.
"I don't know what to say about it. It's not something in -- What is this, 15 years? -- it's not really affected me," Nash said about having his name come up in these type of speculative trade talks.
"I feel like I've done everything I possibly can for this club. If that were an eventuality, we'd move on. There's no real loyalty in sports. But I signed here because I wanted to play with these guys and play for our fans and I'd love to stay here. My personal opinion is it's a lot of chatter, unsubstantiated."
Nash made it clear that neither he nor his agent has been contacted or had any discussions about a trade.
Steve addressed any frustration he might feel with the team or his situation, "It was a pretty frustrating year two years ago and I re-signed because I felt like we had unfinished business to do."
"Dreaming big, it would (have been) to go to the Western Conference Finals and have a chance to beat the Lakers and we got back and did that, so now we're kind of starting at the bottom again. Let's see what we can do. Let's see how good we can get."
Audio: Gentry - Nash trade 111010
over 2 years ago Update 4 comments
In what's become a reoccurring pattern, Phoenix Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby went on local radio and denied in clear and strong words the notion that they are trading Steve Nash. Babby called Nash the "sun and the moon and the stars" of the franchise. You have to give him credit for using such a cute phrase.
There was a time when denials like this were completely believable because the rumors didn't make sense back when they first surfaced in November. But that was before the team made yet another big mid-season trade and hit the reset button on this season with an eye towards the future. Shedding Hedo Turkoglu's long-term contract in favor of Vince Carter's expiring one was a huge part of that decision. Adding Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus were sweeteners to the deal and added more role players to a team already full of them and gave the team even more roster flexibility.
So, when Babby says he can squash the rumors "with a capital squash," we just have to take that for what it is -- a denial of anything imminent and a denial of specific trade discussions. But the report yesterday was that the Suns would take the next month to evaluate their options and there's no reason to think they won't do that.
If the Suns get it together and start playing winning basketball, then Nash would likely stay. If not, this team and this owner have a long, long track record of making moves and we can't forget that Robert Sarver flatly denied he would trade Shawn Marion and then, a few weeks later, traded Shawn Marion.
Bottom line, we will wait and see what happens and for those that don't want to see Nash leave, it's a great time to start hoping and praying that the Suns start winning.
over 2 years ago Update 17 comments
Not surprisingly, the Steve Nash trade chatter didn't ever really die and since the Suns have struggled mightily this season, it's only natural that it would start back up. Early in the season, we consistently discounted the notion that Nash would be moved this year and certainly didn't see it happening in the beginning of the campaign.
Since the Suns made the big trade, however, and are teetering on the edge of oblivion, the landscape has changed considerably. That's why it wasn't a surprise when the reliable Sam Amick of AOL FanHouse reported today that Suns were also teetering on the decision that could send Nash packing as part of the rebuild plan so many fans seem to be clamoring for.
While the 14-18 Suns made it clear recently that their six-player trade with Orlando was not a precursor to moving Nash, the option is being considered and they are, according to the source, "on the fence" about which direction to go. The next month will be key in the decision-making process, as there is a mixture of belief and hope that the additions of Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat can fortify the defense and help turn the season around in time for a playoff push.
The Suns faced a similar decision around this time last season with Amare Stoudemire. The team went 14-18 over a 32-game stretch from December to January before turning things around. Had they not started playing well in early February, it's highly likely that Stoudemire would have been traded at the deadline.
The same is probably true of Nash now.
If the Suns are still floundering once the excuses created by the mid-season trade have worn off, then it would be much more likely Nash would be moved this year. If, on the other hand, the Suns can get their act together and start playing winning basketball on a consistent basis, Robert Sarver would have little motivation to move his darling point guard.
This is an owner who has proven not to have much patience and he certainly has no desire to sit through a painful rebuilding process that starts the moment Nash is gone. He's going to delay that as long as he can, but at the same time, if the team he's assembled isn't getting it done, that impulse for action could very well lead to Nash being traded.
Amick lists New York as a desperate suitor for Nash and that makes sense. I could see a team like Houston being interested as well and they have the assets to put a deal together that could entice the Suns. But nothing is likely to happen until Carmelo Anthony is traded.
Anthony is the big catch at this year's deadline and none of the teams looking to make an upgrade are going to move until he's off the table. Once Melo goes (or extends in Denver), then all bets are off. Teams will come pounding on the Suns door bearing all kinds of gifts. The Suns record when that happens will likely be the biggest determining factor if Sarver accepts an offer.
The Suns want to give their team a few more weeks to either gel or continue to fail and the rest of the possible trade partners are waiting to see what happens to Melo. In the meantime, we can expect Nash to keep saying all the right things.
"I'm playing; I'm here," he told FanHouse on Sunday when asked if a fall into the Western Conference abyss might inspire a desire for change. "I'm going to fight until they tell me they don't want me anymore. We made a lot of changes this year, and hopefully we can get it right and get in the playoffs and make a run. But if we don't, we'll try to put ourselves in a good position for next year."
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The worse the New York Knicks (3-8) get, the more the New York media will start creating Steve Nash trade rumors to help fix their team. It's kind of funny really; you don't see the Detroit media or the Toronto media or the Los Angeles media covering the Clippers making up this "stuff." Of course, there really isn't any Los Angeles media covering the Clippers, so scratch that.
Obviously, this isn't just a Steve Nash thing. Once two years worth of "LEBRON JAMES IS COMING TO NEW YORK" stories were proven wrong, the entire trade rumor industry had to turn somewhere. It's very similar to when Sony lost its portable music Walkman business to the Apple iPod and pivoted to copying the Wii with its new PlayStation Move -- and equally ineffective.
The latest gobbledygook focuses once again on how cheap Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver is and somehow concludes that taking on Eddy Curry's bloated contract (and physique) would be a better option. Not to mention they give no mention to the immediate loss in revenue the Suns would suffer if Nash was gone and the team went from being fun, competitive and you-never-lose-all-hope-with-Steve-Nash-on-your-team, to being in rebuilding mode. We've seen how well that's worked with the Pistons, so obviously the New York media concludes it's the right course of action for the Phoenix Suns.
To counter that genius logic, Suns General Manager Lance Blanks took the unusual step of not only flatly denying that there were any talks going on currently, but essentially guaranteeing that Nash would not be traded this season. That's many steps further than most GMs would go. Perhaps the less experienced Blanks hasn't yet learned the GM art of the hedge. But for now, he couldn't have been more clear.
"Do you think Steve Nash is going to play this whole season with the Suns?" KTAR's host Doug Franz asked Blanks in a radio interview this morning.
"Absolutely. That's one I will tell you. I don't see, certainly in the foreseeable next few years, why Steve Nash would not be here. To me, it's ludicrous," Blanks said with no trace of the door-being-left-open style of speak that former Suns GM and media master Steve Kerr employed.
That should stop all this nonsense once and for all.
Click here to listen to the full Lance Blanks interview on the KTAR Doug and Wolf show.
Click play on the YouTube below to see Ludacris himself "Act A Fool", which seems appropriate for the circumstance.