I was watching ESPN’s NBA draft coverage this morning when the most alarming story came across the screen. The Phoenix Suns had been holding talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves about sending Steve Nash in trade for Minnesota’s number two pick.
I was furious and Nash should be as well. Anyone who has read my previous columns knows I make no bones about being a Nash homer, but even the most passive Suns fan should be appalled by this. Thankfully, talks have ended but that doesn’t unring that bell.
After all Nash has done for this franchise, the Suns were ready to deal him off to a wasteland of a team for a handful of magic beans. Did marijuana get legalized in Arizona while I wasn’t looking? The front office must be on something to even consider or offer this trade. I’m going to attempt to look at this objectively for a moment.
Everyone knows Minnesota is shopping their pick and naturally the Wolves want the best deal they can get. Is Minnesota out there making calls to see what they can get? Its a possibility, but if anyone is sitting in Minnesota’s position with the number two selection in the draft and only a few players with star potential in this weak draft, they don’t need to.
Minnesota can just sit back and listen to offers as everyone comes to them. For the sake of argument, if Minnesota called Phoenix and asked for Nash, the best answer is to laugh long and hard then hang up the phone. However, we do want Minnesota’s pick so the proper answer is ‘He’s not for sale but we still have plenty to offer’.
If the Suns called Minnesota and offered Nash which is my assumption, Suns General Manager Lance Blanks and team President Lon Babby need to go to the closest medical center for head examinations because this is the dumbest idea they have ever had.
So much for remaining objective.
Nash has been the model citizen and face of the franchise since he arrived in the valley for his second tour of duty in a Suns uniform. The two-time MVP is the most valuable asset the Suns have, I get that. However, Nash deserves better than getting shipped off to Minnesota even if it is for a number two draft pick.
As I have said in previous columns, Nash deserves to be treated right by Suns management for his years of dedicated service and if he is going to be traded, he should be dealt to a team with a legitimate shot at a championship.
Nash to Oklahoma City for Russell Westbrook? Deal. Nash to Orlando for a player and a pick? Deal. Nash to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol? Deal. Nash has had to make do with the management blowing up the team around him over and over.
It started with dissolving the highly successful seven seconds or less unit, then it happened again by dissolving the team that made the Western Conference Finals a year ago. Nash was left with a lot of spare parts, then the remaining go-to guy, Jason Richardson, getting traded off in the middle of the season.
Through it all, Nash has stayed true and sacrificed his body and remained the one constant the Suns have instead of demanding a trade. The face of the franchise deserves a statue outside United Airways Center!
Why would Minnesota want Nash with the glut of point guards they already have? The Wolves already have Jonny Flynn, Sebastian Telfair, Luke Ridnour and now golden child Ricky Rubio coming over from Spain. Now you want to add Nash to the mix? Half their roster consists of point guards! Minnesota has many more holes that need addressing and that is probably the reason the Nash deal wasn’t consummated.
Blanks and Babby will only get credit from me for making the call to Minnesota to see how to get their pick, but the only player who should be off limits is Nash. Maybe the Suns misread my last column. I want Nash and Kevin Love in Phoenix, not Minnesota!
A small part of the blame does fall on Nash. If he doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract, he should fire his agent for not demanding one when Nash signed his last extension. Nash should have the right to say no to Minnesota and he has the right to be angry at the Suns brass for even entertaining the thought of sending him to a terrible team.
What do you think Sunszoo? Trade Nash to a contender, trade Nash anywhere or keep Nash in Phoenix?