During the seven seasons that Steve Nash has been a Phoenix Sun he's seen a lot of change. The roster has been in constant flux ranging from a variety of bench players to a rotation of fellow All-Stars that included Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Shaquille O'Neal, and Amare Stoudemire...all now gone.
As Nash pointed out himself on Sunday night after losing to the Dallas Mavericks, the team only has five players left from a roster that went to the Western Conference Finals last season. Outside of Nash (7 years) and Grant Hill (4 years), the most tenured Suns' player is third-year center, Robin Lopez.
That's a lot of new faces and Steve is not shy expressing his frustration about it. Asked a question about a recent shift in the Suns starting lineup, Nash once again went to the broader context of change.
"We're a team that's had so much change this year that I don't think we know where we are yet. We're still trying to learn who we are with all the new pieces"
10 games left in the season and he's not sure who the team is after massive roster changes last summer and two mid-season moves that added four new rotation players.
Nash has been consistent through it all and avoided making specific complaints about the front office, but now with the Suns effectively out of the playoff race and sitting on a .500 record the question has to be asked:
Will Steve Nash be back next season?
A few points to consider:
- Nash has one more year on his contract. If there is a 2011-12 season, Nash would be a Sun unless traded. He's slated to make $11.7 million next year so any trade would have to include some bigger salaries coming back to make the numbers match (assuming the new rules are similar to the current rules).
- While Nash once again is worn down late in the season with nagging injuries which limits his shooting ability, he's still delivering the ball.
- Nash leads the league in double-doubles for point guards; leads the league in assists and assists per game; and has more 15-assist games than any other player. Channing Frye and Marcin Gortat are both assisted (almost entirely by Nash) on nearly 80 percent of their points.