Now that the confetti has settled on the 2012 NBA season, the 2012 offseason is officially underway.
One of the biggest free agent prizes on the market, Steve Nash is a free agent for the first time in his illustrious 17 year career and he is finally opening up about where he might want to end up next season, telling ESPNNY.com that the Knicks are on his list.
The Knicks are a great franchise and I live in New York City (each summer), so I'd definitely consider them if they were interested, Nash said.
I want to wait and see what's actually on the table, he said. I'm open and excited. I'm looking at every possibility right now. It sounds like there are a number of teams that are interested.
The Knicks are interested, and Nash has been linked to them in trade rumors at least going back as far as their acquisition of Carmelo Anthony. But, the Knicks have a slight problem in their efforts to get Nash, they just don't seem to have the money.
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The Knicks only real option for bringing Nash in, short of trades that would get rid of the contract of Anthony, Amare Stoudemire or Tyson Chandler, is the five million dollar exemption - and according to other reports Nash has no interest in that.
According to a report in the New York Post on Thursday:
One confidant of Steve Nash doubts the star point guard will truly give the Knicks any consideration even if they have their $5 millon mid-level exception, despite his remarks at a promotional appearance with Walt Frazier yesterday.
The confidant said Nash doesn't really believe the Knicks are close enough to a title to take less money and didn't like how former coach Mike D'Antoni, his buddy from Phoenix, was treated. Nash will get offers for more than $5 million, especially from Phoenix.
Despite the fact that Nash has made more than $100 million dollars in his NBA career, he isn't likely to take a major pay cut to join a roster that isn't quite ready for prime-time, especially when there are teams much closer to a title than New York that need help at the point.
Among those teams in need at the point spot are the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers lost out on their point guard from last season when Ramon Sessions opted out of his contract. Lakers executive Jim Buss has said that his team intends to try to bring Sessions back to the team, but if that deal doesn't get done Nash would be an excellent option.
Nash and Kobe Bryant have had great battles in the Western Conference playoffs over the course of their careers and they have a tremendous amount of respect from one another. Bryant has a good deal of influence over personnel matters in Los Angeles and he may lobby GM Mitch Kupchak to go after Nash.
Los Angeles, New York, or one of a number of other top flight teams like Dallas, Miami is the most likely destination for Nash. Even squads like Indiana, Memphis or the Clippers could be destinations.
Wherever Nash ends up it will likely be a place he thinks can give him one more shot at an NBA title before he hangs up his sneakers and calls an end to his brilliant career.