Phoenix Suns fans made it clear during the last game of the season that they want Steve Nash to finish out his career with them. The “We Want Nash” chants and all the signs were a heartwarming sight, but unfortunately sentimentality doesn’t always get you what you want.
The Suns have a lot of decisions to make this summer, and they may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Nash has said if the organization wants him to stick around, they need to make some upgrades.
“I think the team could use more playmakers,” he said. “It depends on your strategy. You could go for bigs. You could go for a consistent 20-a-game scorer. Or you could go for a few more playmakers are different positions. The team and the club need to really analyze what their philosophy is moving forward and put a contingency plan together to build the best team. It’ll be an interesting period.”
It’s not an unreasonable request for the two-time MVP. Nash only has a couple years left to play and he doesn’t want to spend them on a bad team. He showed this year that he’s still got it. He was second in the league in assists behind Rajon Rondo and if you look at the team that’s around him, he clearly still has the ability to make his teammates better than what they should be capable of.
But he’s putting the Suns in a tough place. This summer will be an offseason full of restricted free agents, meaning that the Suns may have to overpay for talent that they might be able to get for cheaper next summer. However, Nash won’t want to wait until next summer, he wants to see the improvements now. To clear enough cap space to pay unrestricted free agents they’ll need to dump a good chunk of the team they have now, which could possibly include Robin Lopez, Shannon Brown, Michael Redd and even Grant Hill. These guys all have talent, but if the Suns have to get rid of their contracts to sign some bigger names and make Nash happy, I say go for it.
The Suns should be doing everything they can to try and recreate the magic of the team that almost made it to the NBA Finals (damn hip check). Get some All-Stars around Steve Nash and see what he can do with some real talent. If they have to overpay a little bit this year, it’s probably worth it to keep Nash around rather than have him leave behind a group of B-teamers.