If Phoenix were to trade Steve Nash, what type of trade package could they expect to net in return?
Presumably only a title contender or near title contender would pursue him so:
Oklahoma, the LA Clippers and Chicago have young franchise player PGs already in place. San Antonio have an All-Star in Tony Parker. Phily have a really good starting PG Jrue Holiday who is only scratching the surface of what he can be in this league + are unlikely to make that type of long term prospect for short term gain type of trade given the rest of their roster. Better for them to think long term. So rule those teams out.
Atlanta — Teague and Hinrich
Dallas — Jason Terry or Lamar Odom and Roddy Beaubois and another asset (Dom Jones or a 1st)
Indiana — Darren Collison
LA Lakers — Have to give a bad contract to Phoenix. Can offer several first round picks + have trade exception to take worse contracts from Suns.
Memphis — Mike Conley and change
New York — Jeremy Lin and filler
Portland — Raymond Felton or Jamal Crawford and change
There is one whopper of a trade that has some sense to it and that is with Boston. A Steve Nash for Rajon Rondo swap wouldn’t help Boston by itself but if the deal was widened to include Marcin Gortat and Jermaine O’Neal and perhaps even a Jared Dudley for filler (say Keyon Dooling) … that could make things tempting for the Celtics.
Orlando would love to get involved but they have no talent to offer up in exchange.
Boston’s New Lineup
PG – Steve Nash, Avery Bradley, E’Twaun Moore
SG – Mickael Pietrus, Ray Allen
SF – Paul Pierce, (Jared Dudley or Pietrus)
PF – Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, Chris Wilcox
C – Marcin Gortat, (Kevin Garnett) , Greg Stiemsma
That lineup could give Boston a legitimate shot at riding off into the sunset with one last run at a title.
It’d hurt their rebuilding efforts; losing Rondo. But it wouldn’t load them with any bad long term deals. They would have a lot of flexibility going forward.
Phoenix’s Best Modus Operandi
As we can see, with the exception of Rajon Rondo, Phoenix is receiving very few offers that include top tier talent and/or blue chip prospects. Heck, they are not likely to get many quality draft picks either.
So, the Suns have little to gain, talent wise, from moving Steve Nash.
However, there is another area where they could create added value for their franchise and that is by moving bad contracts:
(1) Josh Childress — four years and about $28 million left on his deal
(2) Channing Frye — four years $25 million
(3) Hakim Warrick — three years $12 million
Phoenix would be best off using Nash as the carrot to rid themselves of those bad deals. To send Nash to a team that isn’t offering the best talent package but the one offering the most expiring deals and cap flexibility going forward.
They should be looking to move a minimum of two of those contracts (Childress being one, Frye preferably the second) but possibly all three depending on the trade package.
Phoenix was a prime free agent destination in years past and they can get back there again in the future.
However, they need more cap flexibility to do so. To have enough space to sign multiple stars in order to convince them they can actually win and enjoy their basketball there. Not be stuck with the likes of Frye, Warrick and Childress … carrying a .500 team on their backs.
In truth, trading Steven Nash to someone like Orlando, who will be willing to eat whatever bad contracts they have to suffer through to get Nash, could be Phoenix’ best choice to setup their rebuilding process.
To summarize, given the lack of talent likely to be offered for Nash, Phoenix’ best long term strategy would be to choose cap flexibility over the solid but unexceptional talent on offer.
Their best opportunity to add high quality talent is with Boston but they will have to be willing to part with Gortat (and maybe Dudley or a first) to make that happen.