The New York Knicks are pursuing a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns for point guard Steve Nash, but face an uphill battle.
A Knicks group of owner James Dolan and coach Mike Woodson met with Nash on Sunday for three hours, including a trip to the team's practice facility in Greenburg, N.Y., but will have trouble matching a reported three-year, $30 million from the Toronto Raptors.
If the Knicks are unable to come to an agreement with the Suns, the most the Knicks would be able to offer is a $3.09 million midlevel exception. The Knicks understand that this is a bit of a longshot, according to the New York Post, but feel they have a little shot at landing him in a trade.
The Knicks are hoping that a chance to win a championship in New York could help sway Nash to eschew the more money Toronto is offering, but recent comments indicate that money will play a big factor in his decision-making.
I definitely feel I want to be validated monetarily to an extent, Nash told the Post. It's still very important. I think money in many ways represents respect. For example, if you sign with a team and take half or less money, six months later, they trade you. It isn't everything but it is important and will be one of the factors involved.''
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If Nash joins the Raptors, as some expect, the Knicks will then turn their attention to Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton.
Kidd, who won a title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, is interested in pairing back up with former teammate Tyson Chandler. It is believed that Kidd is most interested in re-signing with the Mavericks or joining either the Knicks or Brooklyn Nets. He has some interest in backing up Deron Williams in Brooklyn should they re-sign him, but the All-Star point guard still hasn't made a decision.
Kidd, 39, isn't a long-term answer for the Knicks, but could do a nice job at providing some experience and leadership for the Knicks, especially for talented, yet young point guard Jeremy Lin.
The other primary option is Felton, who played with the Knicks for a season before being traded to the Denver Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony deal. Felton was extremely productive in his lone season with the Knicks, especially in the pick-and-roll with Amar'e Stoudemire.