What he said.

(SB Nation Arizona, Avinash Kunnath) There appear to be multiple options for Steve Nash this offseason. He could return to the Phoenix Suns and agree to what probably will be his final major NBA deal. He could leave of his own accord as a free agent and try to branch out somewhere else. Or he

Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld has possibly learned of the two likeliest options Nash would take this offseason. Both of them involving signing with the Suns, but only one keeps him in Phoenix next season. The first option would be a multi-year deal, reportedly around $10 million a year.

There is still a very real shot that Nash, who has thrived in Phoenix's environment, chooses to stay; however the Suns will have to make some serious roster improvements to be the front runner.

Nash's connection with the support and medical staff in Phoenix is a real trump card, as Nash does have spondylolisthesis in his back, and that will factor into his decision. Nash has remained fairly healthy in Phoenix and has played far longer than most thought he would as a result. Nash routinely credits the Phoenix training staff as a key reason why.

Another possibility? A sign-and-trade.

Word has is Nash and the Suns have agreed that if Nash is leaving Phoenix that the franchise would help facilitate a sign and trade deal to insure Steve gets the maximum dollars for his services and the Suns get something in return for him. Meaning all bets are off on where Nash lands, as cap space and exception money won't be a huge factor.

Word has is Nash and the Suns have agreed that if Nash is leaving Phoenix that the franchise would help facilitate a sign and trade deal to insure Steve gets the maximum dollars for his services and the Suns get something in return for him. Meaning all bets are off on where Nash lands, as cap space and exception money won't be a huge factor.

It'd make sense for Nash to stay. Phoenix has done a lot for him, particularly in extending his career with their renowned medical staff. And it'd make sense for Nash to agree to a sign-and-trade to ensure his franchise gets something out of his depature while he also gets a solid deal on his side. It'll be one of those deals where both sides should mutually benefit from the arrangement.


PHOENIX — One of the prominent themes of Moneyball centered around the inherent tension between old school scouts who have lived and breathed baseball all their lives and the geeks with their...

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Game on.

Eastern Conference Finals Game 5: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN

The Celtics will face the Heat on the road and with Chris Bosh back in the lineup. They will try and slow down Miami while pushing the ball to get some easy buckets for Rajon Rondo in transition. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade remain the keys for Miami. As always, if those two both play great, the Heat win.


A search of our Getty Images and U.S. Presswire photo accounts revealed no pictures of Suns GM Lance Blanks.

I had lunch with Phoenix Suns general manager Lance Blanks on Monday. We sat down, broke some bread, drank some tea, and chatted about the up-coming 2012 NBA Draft. He seemed to be in a good mood. He was well prepared. He talked in long and full sentences, disproving some rumors that he's actually a ghost. Folks, one thing I can testify to with 100 percent certainty is this: Lance Blanks is not a ghost.

As for what Lance shared with me (and about 20 other people from the local media including Kris Habbas from SB Nation Arizona who you should get to know since he'll be doing a lot of Suns coverage after I leave Arizona this summer), here are the highlights:

-- Lance sees this draft as solid all the way through the first half. He described last year's draft as "spotty" with some hit and miss type players (except for Markieff Morris who Lance feels will prove to be worth more than a 13th pick and exceeded expectations as a rookie). This year he thinks there will be good players available all the way through the lottery but they may take a year or two or three to prove themselves in the league.

-- On the Best Available vs. Need question, he said: "All things being equal you go with a need for the team. You owe that to the fans, the organization, the ownership, and the coach to fill that need. Whenever there is an opportunity to fill a need you want to take advantage of it."

-- He left the door open, of course, if someone ranked much higher unexpectedly fell, but since Anthony Davis isn't likely to make it past the opening five minutes of the draft, I would think we will see the Suns draft a perimeter player.

-- "You look at our roster, this year we feel that our perimeter is an area that we'd like to add a little bit of youth to, whether it be one (point guard) the two (shooting guard) or the three (small forward)."

-- When looking at possible draft picks for the Suns, without getting specific, he generally sees more offensive-oriented type players. Habbas at SBN AZ speculated that means, "Duke's Austin Rivers, Syracuse's Dion Waiters, and Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb".

-- It's possible the Suns could look to acquire another pick but it doesn't sound like a top priority. Blanks emphasized the strong likelihood of keeping this (13th) pick.

-- Lance and the entire scouting staff are meeting in Chicago this week. They will have a meeting of the minds and then start looking at players at the Chicago Combine.

-- The Suns haven't had any players in for workouts yet. Other teams have.

-- Lance mentioned several times how generous Robert Sarver has been in spending money on improving the player development staff and resources. Along those lines, Lindsey Hunter (former NBA defensive pest) was promoted from the scouting staff to the player development staff. Mark West will have a bigger role with player development as well.

-- It's not totally clear, but it sounds like the Suns won't let media in for draft prospect workouts as had been the case in past years. We used to be able to interview players and get some quick feedback from the coaching staff or front office. This helped us help you get to know the possible players before the draft, but now the Suns will instead (I think) only hold a formal press conference at some point before the draft.

So, that's what Blanks said. Are you excited yet?

Oh, and I did find a picture of Lance. He still looks just like this:

Lance_blanks_medium


Well, this could / should be fun.

Game 5 WCF: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT


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