It's pretty much a given that Everyone Loves Steve Nash. It's also a given that on any day of the week (Sundays included), being Steve Nash is better than being you (or me). This is all double-y and especially and very true right now with NBA Free Agency that has several teams firmly planting their lips on the behind of a certain Two-Time MVP.
Since the clock struck midnight on July 1 and teams could official begin negotiations with the second-most coveted point guard on the market and the one willing to entertain all suitors, the action has been hot and heavy. Deron Williams might have narrowed his choice to two teams but Nash is loving the attention right now.
Here's a recap of the love so far:
Toronto got the first crack at their favorite son and likely are willing to offer the biggest deal -- reportedly three-years, $36m.
As much as I'd love Nash to be back, three years is too much. But for the Raptors it makes sense because he'd sell enough tickets to make up for being 41 in the final year. They also have some interesting young talent and Nash could probably take Toronto to the playoffs in the East next season.
On a side note, if Nash does go to Toronto, the Suns could probably get veteran PG Jose Calderon back in a sign-and-trade. He's set to make about $10.5m next season before expiring like an overpaid pumpkin. Jose would allow rookie Kendall Marshall to spend a year as a back up before being thrown into the fire. Then again, if Nash is gone the Suns might as well throw Marshall in the fire and go full bore for the 2013 Lottery.
The Knicks also met with Nash and it looks like the Nets will as well. Nash reportedly would also listen to Mark Cuban if the Mavericks strike out on Deron Williams. So basically, Nash is Plan B for either Brooklyn or Dallas which doesn't suck too bad.
None of these means the Suns are out of the running. Nash, like Hill did a few times recently, had always planned to listen to offers and let himself be wooed. Who doesn't like a good wooeing?
My guess...Nash won't take the MLE from New York but could let himself be the consolation prices in Dallas or Brooklyn. But mostly, I see Toronto throwing silly money at him because they NEED him BADLY. If that happens, the Suns shouldn't and probably won't match. Bye, Steve.
What do you think?
For up to the minute updates on 2012 NBA Free Agency, follow this StorySteam at SB Nation.com
On the first day of free agency, rumors are sprouting like wildfires around the country and quite soon there will be a flood of actual signings. As with every year, the first few days of the wooing period are filled with crazy overpayments, fueled by surprising demands from agents who want to cash in on desperate GMs.
Offers reportedly out there (via reliable reporters on twitter) to restricted free agents: Rockets offered C Omer Asik $8 mil/yr, Wolves offered SF Nicolas Batum $10 mil/yr, Blazers offered C Roy Hibbert a MAX deal (4/$58).
The biggest fish the Suns contacted on Saturday night was SG Eric Gordon. They will meet with Gordon on Tuesday of his whirlwind tour, sandwiched in the middle of at least 5 teams wanting to offer him a MAX contract (4 yrs, $58 million). New Orleans is already floating that they would match any offer and, per Sam Amick of si.com including up to the max, to try to dissuade teams from getting excited about their client. So, this might be a lost cause but you never know if you don't try. The Suns said they would match any Joe Johnson offer back in the day too. Likely, the only way Gordon leaves is via a sign-and-trade, and the Suns don't have great assets to offer.
Players contacted so far by the Suns, according to the wonderful world of twitter:
PG: Nash ($12+ mil/yr), Dragic ($10+ mil/yr), Ray Felton
SF: Michael Beasley (gulp)
C: Chris Kaman
THAT's their first reported in-person visit??!?! Supercool Beas???
Check back all day for updates as news breaks.
No reported interest in PF Ersan Ilyasova at this point, or in SF Nicolas Batum. I would have thought the Suns would show interest in these two. Both are young (25 and 23, respectively) and just now growing into their games. Ilyasova is a tough rebounder and good shooter, while Batum can lock down all 3 perimeter positions and hit the 3-ball.
You might as well cross Goran Dragic off your radar. Dragic's agent is asking for $10 mil/yr for 4 years as guaranteed starter. No way the Suns block Kendall Marshall for 4 seasons. Better to re-sign Nash for $12+ mil/yr for 2-3 seasons.
As a stopgap 2012-2014 starter at PG, I'd much rather have Andre Miller than Ray Felton. Marshall most resembles Miller, except that Marshall is a better passer. He would do well to learn from Miller for a year or two.
The actual day that free agents can sign with another team is July 11. However, all 2011-12 contracts expire at 9PM AZ time tonight. Those players without 2012-13 contracts become free agents, to some degree, on July 1. At 9PM tonight, each free agent can be courted by any and every NBA team.
Unrestricted free agents (like Deron Williams and Steve Nash) can agree to contract terms whenever they want, though they can't actually sign on the dotted line until July 11. Most of the best unrestricted free agents will be committed to new teams by then.
Restricted free agents, though, cannot commit to anyone until they can sign an "offer sheet" and those cannot be offered until July 11. So those teams who want to make an offer to Eric Gordon or Nicolas Batum have to wait until July 11 to make their move. The Suns, for example, will likely wait until July 11 before making any free agent moves to fill their shooting guard position, since their top target appears to be Gordon.
Who will sign where? Will anyone agree to contract terms right after the bell rings?