NBA Free Agency opens on Sunday morning at 12:01 a.m. and with less than 24 hours to go until that deadline; Steve Nash certainly sounds like a player who is going to be on the move during that period.
I couldn't list a favorite, Nash said. But I do know that for the first time I realize that it might not be Phoenix. I would have said even in the middle of the 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).
Nash said that his desire to move on has been motivated as much by the Suns management as his own desires.
I don't necessarily feel like it's a home run anymore, Nash said. 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, 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.
Nash has said over and over in the past week or so that he is open to anything, when it comes to his next destination, but sources within the NBA report that there are only four teams that are going to make a serious push: Dallas, New York, Brooklyn and Toronto.
It is believed that Nash had been seeking a three year deal from the Suns, so he potentially intends to play three more years. Though most NBA experts doubt that he will return to the desert, the Suns reportedly have a two-year $20 million offer on the table to him right now.
Dallas is becoming increasingly more interested in Nash as they think it is becoming more and more likely that Deron Williams will remain with the Brooklyn Nets. They are without a point guard now as Jason Kidd is a free agent, and there are reports that the Mavericks intend to offer the 38-year-old Nash a two-year deal in an attempt to sweeten the pot.
Nash lives in New York City in the offseason, and has said several times that he would be open to making the move permanent and playing for the Knicks. The team does plan to make a pitch to Nash, but they may have the most convincing to do because they don't have money for him under the cap.
The Knicks will have to work out a sign and trade to get Nash, something they are willing to do, but something Nash may wish to avoid if he has better options elsewhere.
Brooklyn is a bit of a fringe team in the hunt for Nash. They have him on the radar, but strictly as a backup plan. If Williams opts out and goes to Dallas, Nash becomes the number one target for the Nets.
Toronto is an intriguing option as well. The Raptors President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo was the man who convinced Nash to abandon Dallas in favor of Phoenix in 2004 and now has a chance to repeat the performance.
The draw here is obviously that Nash could return home to Canada, though Toronto is a long way Saskatchewan and Vancouver where he grew up.
Toronto certainly has the most money to offer, but they would have to sell the point guard on spending the last few years of his career helping to develop a roster of young players, not competing for titles.
Nash is one of five NBA MVPs to never win an NBA title. In fact, he has never even played in an NBA Finals, losing in the Western Conference Finals four times.
It is hard to believe that Nash won't take his final few years in an attempt to reach that goal. An NBA title is one of the few achievements remaining for him to attain.
No matter where he goes, Nash is looking to sign quickly. He could have a new team as early as Sunday night.
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