In a telling interview with ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, Steve Nash revealed that he does not believe he would be back with the Suns next year, although he is not ruling anything out:
“For the first time I realize that it might not be Phoenix. I would have said even in the middle of (last) season or last year that I would have thought I probably would have stayed in Phoenix forever. But it’s come to a point now where I’m facing the reality that’s not (the case).”
“I don’t necessarily feel like it’s a home run anymore, I don’t necessarily feel like they’re determined to keep me. I think there’s a lot of factors. So, one, I’m not sure they’re determined to keep me, (and) two, there’s other opportunities that are exciting. So I think I have to be open-minded … but at the same time be able to forecast where I’ll be most successful and happiest.”
Instead, four teams have emerged as favourites to sign the 38 year old Nash: Toronto, Dallas, New York and Brooklyn.
Toronto would represent a home coming for the Canadian-born Nash, and they are being run by Bryan Colangelo: the man responsible for bringing Nash to Phoenix back in 2004. While Nash admits that they are probably not going to be contending for a title anytime soon, they are said to be ready to offer a three year contract at $12 million a year. From a monetary perspective that offer will likely exceed any other team’s offer as the Knicks are over the cap, and Dallas is looking to preserve cap space for another FA run next offseason. However, Nash cites the city, and the opportunity to help move the young team forward as attractions for playing in Toronto.
Dallas and Brooklyn are both prioritizing Deron Williams first, which Nash acknowledges in the interview as being understandable, given William’s age. If either team fails to sign Williams however, they are both comfortably under the salary cap and could possibly match Toronto’s offer. Dallas was said to initially favour a large one year deal for Nash, but have recently amended that stance to being ready to offer two years.
The Knicks can only offer $3 million a year with their mid level exception, so will need to facilitate a sign and trade of some sort. They can be seen as longshots to sign Nash currently, but they will still have a contingent of team reps ready to make a pitch at Nash’s New York home.