Steve Nash has likely played his last game as a Phoenix Sun. In 17 1/2 minutes Wednesday night, Nash scored 8 points and 7 assists, down from his highs for the season, but nonetheless a decent performance as he finishes his 16th season.
Nash himself said he wasn't thinking much about the possibility of it being his last game for the Suns last night, but as a free agent it will soon be time for him to think about it.
It deserves a lot of thought, Nash said to the Arizona Republic. It would be an important moment if I don't play for the Suns again. It could be a big moment.
When Nash signed his current deal with Phoenix, he and Amare Stoudemire were lighting up the desert, winning three straight Pacific Division titles and making three Western Conference Finals since 2004. But things have changed, Stoudemire is gone and the Suns are in full on rebuild mode and that could keep Nash away.
For me, I just want our team to be as competitive as possible if I were to return. We'll see, Nash said. There are a lot of factors involved and I'll get a chance to sit down and evaluate them all at some point.
Even at 38-years-old, Nash skills haven't declined much. His 12.5 points and 10.7 assists per game put him among the best point guards in the league. He can still defend, and might be able to help some team take a shot at a title.
There are plenty of competitive teams that would take him. The Miami Heat, first and foremost, are a point guard away from being one of the best teams ever assembled. Though he isn't a long term solution for Miami, and paying him along with their big three could be a problem, but Nash to Miami is a great fit.
The New York Knicks are also an attractive option for Nash. While the Knicks technically have their own point guard in Jeremy Lin, the wonderkid is coming off season ending knee surgery and has declined since he broke into the league with a bang in February.
In New York, he could reunite with Stoudemire, create his own big three with Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. He would be on a competitive team in one of the greatest cities in the world, in front of great fans.
For now though, the future is unclear for Nash. He will have to do some major soul searching over the next few weeks to decide if he wants to take a shot at one more title in unfamiliar laundry or if he wants to remain in Phoenix and finish out his career in the place that has become his NBA home.
Honestly, I have no clue. I couldn't predict. I don't know what the future holds at this point. And I'm actually OK with that, Nash mused. I think now's the time to maybe get some distance from it and try to find a clear perspective on where I am. Until I do that, I couldn't put a number on it or take a guess on what the chances are on whether I'll be back or not.